Washoe County is among the healthiest in the state according to the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps released Wednesday by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The rankings are released each year and provide data for counties across the nation to see how they compare with others for health outcomes and health factors.
Washoe County ranked second in the state for health outcomes, coming in behind Douglas County, which often ranks at or near the top. Washoe took the fourth slot for health factors, behind Storey, Douglas and Eureka counties.
University of Nevada, Reno’s John Packham has presented the rankings in northern Nevada for a number of years. He said the report is a great way to highlight the progress that communities have made and challenges faced in improving, promoting and protecting health.
“At the heart of this model is that a wide range of factors influence how long and how well we live at the community level,” Packham said.
The rankings bring together data from a number of sources and measure things such as average length and quality of life, as well as tobacco use, obesity, access to primary care doctors or mental health services, air quality, and access to housing and transit.
Packham said one of the silver linings of the pandemic was how certain social and economic factors were brought to the forefront. This year’s rankings take into consideration the gender pay gap, living wages, child care cost burden, broadband access and food security – all previously not included as factors in a community’s overall health.
“One of the great things about the county rankings is that it’s not giving short shrift to clinical care and its outcomes, but it’s highlighting that a lot of health takes place outside of [doctors’ offices and hospitals],” Packham said.
Nevada’s 2022 state report from the County Health Rankings is available for download here.
Kristen Hackbarth is a freelance editor and communications professional with 20 years’ experience working in communications in northern Nevada. Kristen graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in photography and minor in journalism and has a Master of Science in Management and Leadership. In her free time, she is a volunteer backpacking guide along the Tahoe Rim Trail, an avid home cook and baker, cyclist, wife and stepmom.