Johnson County Leads State In Health Rankings

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW-TV) People in Shawnee County are about as healthy as they were a year ago.

The fifth annual county health rankings, from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute put Shawnee County 66th in overall health. 98 of the state's 105 counties were included in the survey.

Last year, Shawnee County came in 70th out of 102.

The rankings allows counties to see how well they're doing on factors that influence health, from smoking to access to healthy foods.

"Most of us would not associate things like crime rate or education or high school graduation with health," said Dr. Gianfranco Pezzino, Kansas Health Institute. "We know that they are important things, but we don't think about health when we think about those factors. and what we are trying to do is connect all these dots together."

"I think we can look at those rankings and we're not going to see significant change in the rankings over time," said Allison Alejos, Director of Local Health Department with the Shawnee County Health Agency. "It will take many years before we start to see those numbers change in one direction or another."

Johnson County was ranked as the healthiest county followed by Riley, Pottawatomie, Wabaunsee and Stevens counties.

Douglas, Nemaha and Morrise counties also made the top 25. Woodson county ranked last.