Congratulations, residents of Douglas County! You live in the healthiest County in Colorado, according to the annual County Health Rankings & Roadmaps ranking released this week.
Each year, the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute produces the CHR&R analysis with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The annual rankings measure health outcomes – the current health of a county and health factors – those changes that could be made to improve lifespan and quality of life for residents. The rankings are a snapshot of how health is influenced by where we live, learn, work, and play.
“It is a professional privilege to serve on the Board of Health for a County whose residents so consistently demonstrate the state’s top rankings in overall health outcomes and behaviors,” said Doug Benevento, Chair, Douglas County Board of Health.
The findings specific to Douglas County, are based on data collected between 2018 and 2021. Douglas County residents rank highest in length of life and have the highest quality of life. The County has been ranked as one of the top two healthiest Colorado Counties since 2011 and has held the No. 1 ranking consistently since 2019.
“The notoriety of Healthiest Community in Colorado is a tribute to the residents of all the cities, towns, and unincorporated areas of the County who choose a lifestyle that so consistently contributes to this outcome,” said Abe Laydon, Chair, Board of Douglas County Commissioners.
The health factors ranking looks at a variety of factors including education and wealth, availability of health care, and health behaviors such as smoking and excessive drinking. As a top-ranking county, Douglas County is invested in additional health and wellness priorities that were identified by residents in the Douglas County Health Department’s 2021 – 2026 Public Health Improvement Plan (PHIP). Through an extensive community and data assessment, the PHIP supports a focus on three priority areas:
Injury Prevention – to include motor vehicle safety, fall prevention, poisoning due to drugs, and suicide related injury and death
Disease Management and Prevention – with priorities on heart disease, diabetes, and skin cancer
Mental/Behavioral Health – screening, detection, and early intervention of depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders for residents
“We are pleased that our county once again ranks as the healthiest in Colorado,” said Michael Hill, Executive Director, Douglas County Health Department. “We also know that there are people in the county who suffer from serious health conditions. We will continue to work to help everyone in our county live the healthiest life they can through our focus on the County’s top public health priorities – Injury Prevention, Mental/Behavioral Health, and Disease Management and Prevention.”