Routt County fares well in annual health rankings |

Routt County fares well in annual health rankings

At a glance:

Adults who smoke: 10 percent in Routt County, 17 percent in Colorado

Adult obesity: 15 percent in Routt County, 20 percent in Colorado

Physical inactivity: 10 percent in Routt County, 15 percent in Colorado

Uninsured: 15 percent in Routt County, 17 percent in Colorado

Children in single-parent households: 23 percent in Routt County, 28 percent in Colorado

Full report at http://www.countyhealthr...

— Annual nationwide health rankings released last week place Routt County as fifth highest of Colorado counties in overall health.

The ranking is based on data measuring the health behaviors and clinical care habits of residents, as well as socioeconomic factors including the percentage of residents who are high school graduates, have attended some college or are unemployed.

The ranking is a big jump for Routt County, which placed 11th of about 60 ranked Colorado counties last year, and 10th place in 2013.

“Routt County continues to be a high performing county in most indicators,” said Charity Neal, director of public health for the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association.

County Health Rankings are a collaborative effort of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to health, and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

Neal said the rankings represent a snapshot of time and are created using data ranging from 2006 to 2013, depending on each category.

She said the rankings are used by the VNA for trend analysis, but that the organization relies more heavily on Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment data to develop current programming.

Among the year-to-year changes in the data was a decrease in the percentage of uninsured residents, which fell from 17 percent in the 2013 report to 15 percent in the 2015 report. Statewide, the 2015 ranking found that 17 percent of residents were uninsured.

Routt County had a lower than state average percent of adult smokers (10 percent versus 17 percent statewide), adults who are obese (15 percent versus 20 percent statewide) and those with poor or fair health (6 percent versus 13 percent statewide).

Routt County also has significantly more primary care physicians and doctors per the size of the population than the state’s averages.

More concerning in the data is that 27 percent of residents engage in excessive drinking, higher than the state’s 18 percent average. Routt County also has a higher rate of alcohol-impaired driving deaths than the rest of the state.

“Substance abuse is an issue that effects every area of our work,” Neal said. “We continue to offer integrated behavioral health in the community health centers as one method to address this growing problem.”

A complete report of the rankings for Routt County and 60 other Colorado counties can be found at

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow

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