Shawnee Co. working to improve health ranking after big drop

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Shawnee County is working to get healthier after it fell 18 spots in the latest health rankings.

The Shawnee County Health Department got together with city leaders and community members to figure out why it dropped from 61st to 79th out of Kansas' 103 counties. A big part of the drop was due to premature deaths.

Chris Omni, known locally as the 'Health Hippie,' put together a report on the disparities over the health of African-American woman. She says the number of black woman with hypertension or heart disease has increased.

"So what we will do is release the report and invite the entire community to come together so we can discuss the findings and then create an action plan," she said. "This was only the first step. Research and reveal. Now we need to reclaim our story and do something about it."

Omni said vision loss and obesity are also factors effecting black women's health.

For more on the state's health rankings, click