HENDRICKS COUNTY – For the fifth year in a row, Hendricks County ranks as the second healthiest county in Indiana based on the 2017 County Health Rankings.
“I’m pleased to see Hendricks County ranked, once again, as one of the healthiest counties in Indiana,” says Dr. David Stopperich, Hendricks County Health Officer. “However, we still have a lot of work to do to improve health in the county.”
The 2017 report shows some positive changes in Hendricks County, including a decrease in the percentage of adults who are physically inactive, less preventable hospital stays, fewer alcohol-impaired driving deaths, a lower rate of unemployment, an increase in adults with health insurance coverage, and an increase in the number of primary care physicians in the county.
Despite the good news, other factors highlighted in the report show causes for concern and needs for further investigation. Despite a decrease in the percentage of residents who are physically inactive, adult obesity is still on the rise. Along with this, diabetes prevalence has also risen slightly. Lastly, similar to what many other Indiana counties are facing, drug related overdose deaths remain a concern.
“There is still a lot of work that needs to be done to improve health in Hendricks County,” says Jenna Meadows, Public Health Education Specialist at the Hendricks County Health Department and Coordinator of the Hendricks County Health Partnership. Meadows states that the Partnership released the 2016 Hendricks County Community Health Assessment last year, which highlights the issues preventing county residents from living long and healthy lives, and the 2016 Hendricks County Community Health Improvement Plan, which established a three-year action plan to address health improvement priority areas identified in the assessment.
“The five priority areas identified in the Community Health Assessment were physical activity and nutrition, accessing and utilizing health care, substance abuse, mental wellness, and tobacco use. Our partners, which include representatives from local hospitals, health care, mental health and social service providers, community agencies, schools, and many others, are currently working through the Community Health Improvement Plan,” states Meadows. For more information about the Partnership’s assessment, improvement plan, or work groups, visit the Partnership’s website at www.hendrickshealthpartnership.org.
The full 2017 rankings report can be found online at www.countyhealthrankings.org. For more information about the Hendricks County Health Partnership, or other public health initiatives, contact the Hendricks County Health Department at (317) 745-9618.