It’s part of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation study to promote public health. The study looks at factors that affect overall health, such as employment rates, health behaviors and other social factors.
Benton County has the lowest unemployment rate in the state, which the health department says is a huge factor.
“It’s very rewarding for our work. It’s very affirming of the hard work we’ve done, not just the health department, but the community partnerships we have,” said Charlie Fautin, Benton County Health Department Deputy Director.
Just because the county is ranked number one doesn’t mean it wasn’t docked points in certain areas. The study also looks at factors such as economics and health behaviors.
The health department says there’s still an economic disparity in the region. The department also says there’s a shortage of affordable housing, which also affects overall health.
“It reduces the amount of money they have available for healthy foods, for medicines for transportation; for other things. So it really does affect health, and it’s an important measure,” Fautin said.
Officials say there’s still room for improvement.