Wichita County sees decrease in state health ranking

WICHITA COUNTY, Tx (RNN Texoma) - A recent list from the University of Wisconsin ranks the healthiest counties in Texas.

The assistant director of the Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District, Amy Fagan, said the data can be used as a way to see what the department can do to make the county healthier.

"We can compare ourselves to comparable counties like Waco or Lubbock," said Fagan.  "We can go in and look at the numbers at the number one or number two counties."

Wichita County is in the bottom 10%, coming in at 193 out of 242, a decline from last year.

Fagan said the factors work like a puzzle, and it's not just health that goes into the ranking.

Other factors are high school graduation rates and poverty levels.

"We can look at those things across the board and really see what has changed year to year," said Fagan.  "We can see what has changed since the county health records started, and what can we, as a health district or a health community, really impact."

In the last year, the department has added different programs like "Eat Well" and a diabetes prevention program.

Fagan said it is likely that the county is doing better than the numbers show because the data collected is three or four years old.

"The work that we have done specifically to those things, we knew we could impact or influence a lot of that work, is not reflected this year, but it will be in the next two to three years.  We know that we have work to do.  We know that we, as a community, have work to do."

Last year, Wichita County was at 150 for health rankings.

Archer County came in 37th on the list, while Clay County came in 25th.

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