Bolivia, NC – The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin have released the annual County Health Rankings, and Brunswick County has been ranked 40 in health outcomes for the state.
The rankings, released annually, are intended to build awareness of a community’s strengths and areas for improvement regarding the health of its residents. The rankings consider health behaviors – like rates of obesity and physical activity– as well as social and economic factors, like unemployment rates and graduation rates.
The 2018 rankings show that Brunswick County has continued to strengthen in the area of health behaviors, rising from 14 in 2017, to now 10 in 2018. “We are proud of the progress that has been made in Brunswick County,” said Cris Harrelson, BCHS Health Director. “The leadership of our county has been forward-thinking in their efforts to provide parks, green spaces, walking trails, and other amenities designed to promote and provide healthier lifestyle opportunities for our residents.”
Similarly, the rankings report a higher percentage of women receiving mammogram screenings and a higher percentage of adults with diabetes receiving monitoring in Brunswick County than the statewide average.
The rankings also show that Brunswick County is at-risk for poor health when it comes to social and environmental factors that affect health, such as poverty rates and unemployment rates. While the rankings show fewer instances of violent crime offenses in Brunswick County than the statewide average, they report more instances of injury deaths – which include motor vehicle accidents and poisonings – than the statewide average. Similarly, the rankings show a higher rate of alcohol-impaired driving deaths along with drug overdose deaths in Brunswick County than the statewide average.
Brunswick County has numerous initiatives underway to expand health opportunities for all residents, including addressing substance use disorder, impaired driving and vehicular accidents, mental health care, and chronic disease management. Many of these programs involve partnerships with local law enforcement and EMS, health care providers, mental health providers, local and statewide non-profits or other groups.