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Sullivan County and Hawkins County rank in the middle of the pack when it comes to health outcomes and length of life, according to the fifth annual Tennessee county health rankings.
The county health rankings were compiled by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The county health rankings rank the overall health of almost every county in all 50 states.
By ranking the counties, it allows people to see how well or poorly their county is doing compared with other counties in the state. The ranking is based on 29 factors that influence health, including smoking, high school graduation rates, employment, physical inactivity and access to healthy foods. The health factors are broken down into health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors and physical environment.
There are 90 counties in Tennessee.
"The real purpose of the rankings is for individual counties to take a look at what is going on in the community," said Ginny Kidwell, program director for the Tennessee Institute of Public Health, which is housed at East Tennessee State University. "What are you doing well and what are you not doing so well. Then they need to come together as community and try to improve the health of their community."
For an expanded version of this article, please see Monday's print edition or our expanded electronic edition.