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Placer is Again Second Healthiest County in State

March 26, 2015

For the third consecutive year, Placer County has ranked as the second healthiest county among California’s 58 counties. The ranking is an annual project of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin.  

The project looks at 30 factors in developing its rankings. These factors are broken into categories and statewide, Placer County ranked first in quality of life, second in health factors, health behaviors and social and economic factors and third in clinical care. Other categories include length of life and physical environment.

In past reports, Placer County has been ranked in the top 10 each of last five years.

“We are proud and celebrate these rankings,” said Placer County’s Health Officer, Dr. Robert Oldham.  “The reason Placer County is ranked so high is that the residents value health and active lifestyles. We still have room for improvement and we’re going to engage in a community health assessment later this year, recognizing that health isn’t perfect for some and that we want to include any groups that may have been left behind.”

The health of Placer County’s residents also has positive economic benefits as employers looking for a place to locate will look at the health of the workforce. Having a high County Health Ranking makes the area more competitive as employers seek to reduce health care costs.

The Health Ranking includes almost every county in every state in the nation. The rankings reveal that where one lives has an effect on their health. It is not surprising that Placer County, with a multitude of forestland, an international reputation for its outdoor recreation and a burgeoning industry in locally grown produce and agricultural goods, would earn a high ranking.

This year’s County Health Rankings show that the healthiest counties have higher college attendance, fewer preventable hospital stays and a lower percentage of smokers. In all of these categories, Placer County is above state and national averages.

In a case of leading by example, Placer County has initiated several employee health and wellness programs to promote good lifestyle choices that produce a stable, healthy workforce. With employees in the office more, productivity is increased. The recently completed 5-5-5 Challenge was an eight-week program for county workers about making healthy food choices, engaging in physical activities, and learning ways to reduce stress that reduce risks for numerous chronic diseases.

Details of the ranking, which is compiled into the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, are available at this website:  County Health Rankings.

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