Excellent clinical care, a wealth of opportunities for physical activity, and educational achievement helped the county lead the way in North Carolina, ranking 14th in the state for overall health outcomes, an 11-point gain over a year ago, and 3rd overall in health factors that predict a community's overall health moving forward.
The rankings come from the annual 2018 County Health Rankings report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. Cambria has never ranked higher than 60.
Hardscrabble and sparsely populated Cumberland County ranked at the bottom, as it has in previous reports.
Just like we get yearly check-ups, an annual report released Monday morning provided a "health snapshot" of almost every county in the U.S. The full rankings are available at www.countyhealthrankings.org.
Rivas said the intentions of the rankings are to show what specific areas people can target to improve health at a local level.
"We can't be a healthy, thriving nation if we continue to leave entire communities and populations behind", said Richard Besser, MD, RWJF president and CEO.
In Cambria County, 8,600 deaths people under the age of 75 died during the most recent year compiled. They were both in the highest category of the rankings starting at the top 22 healthiest ranks in the state in both years.
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Pennsylvania counties range from 4 to 11 percent of babies born with low birth weight, the report says.
The counties partner with Watonwan County as part of the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership, established across the state to create healthier communities.
Mecklenburg County fared well in several categories pertaining to health and quality of life, ranking in the top 10 for length of life, quality of life and clinical care.
High school graduation rates were another area of concern highlighted in the report. Last year, Nicollet County public health nurses prepared for the potential of a measles outbreak, which other counties saw.
"We are actually communicating with each other, and we meet on a quarterly basis", she said. "I think we've targeted the issues that we know have been a challenge in Douglas County and have brought many, many partners to the table to try to address them in coming years". The behaviors that were measured include tobacco use, diet and exercise, alcohol and drug use and sexual activity.
And they say Mecklenburg County is the fifth-healthiest North Carolina county based on how long people live and how healthy they feel.
Randy Griffith is a multimedia reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. "If you live in Moxham, we're interested in hearing from you".
Help with tobacco cessation and diabetes prevention and control are among the priorities because those issues contribute to the overall health of individuals and the community, Thompson added. He can be reached at 532-5057.