Moffat County rises in annual health rankings; work still to be done
CRAIG — Moffat County continues to rise in annual health rankings of counties, according to the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps study.
“We always like to see improvement towards moving healthier,” said Northwest Colorado Health Director of Public Health Kari Ladrow.
Moffat County ranked 31st out of 58 counties this year, an improvement from a 2017 rank of 37th out of 58 counties.
“The annual rankings provide a revealing snapshot of how health is influenced by where we live, learn, work and play. They provide a starting point for change in communities,” according to the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps website.
Moffat County is performing better in several categories, particularly youth services.
“There has been a collaborative effort to foster community connections, particularly around youth. I think we are seeing some nice trending. For example, the teen birth rate was 43, compared to 53 last year. That’s still higher than the state average, but certainly an improvement,” Landrow said.
The number of children living in poverty is 17 percent and higher than the state average of 13 percent.
“It takes all of us to take care of our children, so I’d like to see work towards that,” Landrow said.
She said she’d also like to see the uninsured rate drop from 11 percent, which compares to the state average of 9 percent, and the number of primary care, behavioral health and dental providers continue to grow.
“I would say that it takes all of us to have a healthy community.
The more we can work in partnership and collaborate for the health of the residents, the better” said Landrow.
Both Memorial Regional Health and Northwest Colorado Health treat patients regardless of their ability to pay.
“MRH will continue to find ways to provide access to a broad array of health care services. This year, the expansion includes Home Health and Hospice services and the opening of our Rapid Care Clinic, which is open 12 hours a day, six days a week,” said MRH Vice President of Operations Jennifer Riley.
Most surrounding counties continue to rank higher:
o Routt County — slipped from 4 to 10
o Eagle County — rose from 5 to 4
o Summit County — slipped from 8 to 9
o Grand County — plummeted from 12 to 24
o Garfield County — held steady at 13
o Rio Blanco County — improved from 23 to 18
o Mesa County — fell from 25 to 33, falling below Moffat County for the first time.
Rankings are the result of an ongoing collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, which measure the health of nearly all counties in the nation.
Analysts compile county-level measures from a variety of national and state sources, then rank counties within each state.
Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.
As part of a national effort to curb abuse of medications, Northwest Colorado agencies are seeking help from residents.