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 City News
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Williamson County ranked No. 1 healthiest county in Texas

Williamson County is back on top and once again ranked as the healthiest county in Texas. The 2013 County Health Rankings list Williamson County as the healthiest place to live among 232 Texas counties.

All of the counties were ranked using a variety of data including health outcomes, in which Williamson County ranked number one, and health factors, in which the county ranked number three.
 
Said Dr. Chip Riggins, Williamson County and Cities Health District Executive Director: "We appreciate the opportunity that the County Health Rankings give us to highlight all of the great efforts to create conditions where people can be healthy. We celebrate the collective and individual efforts to improve local health ... and the momentum is building."

Proactive approach
As one of the most rapidly growing counties in the nation, Williamson County is very deliberate and proactive in its approach to improving the overall health of the community. During this past year, the WilCo Wellness Alliance expanded countywide to form community groups in each of the four quadrants of the county, targeted working groups on current strategic issues, and a Community Health Improvement Steering Committee to guide all activities. Schools, healthcare, business, nonprofits, faith-based organizations, and government agencies are active and ongoing leaders in this collaborative process.

Community health assessment
To harness the multiple efforts, initiatives, and changing demographics of the County, this year the WilCo Wellness Alliance, with the support of the Williamson County and Cities Health District, undertook a comprehensive community health assessment. This assessment validates the great work already being done in the community and identifies emerging issues. Prioritization and discussion around community health improvement is currently underway with a plan to be finalized this summer.

“We, as citizens of this county through the WilCo Wellness Alliance, are taking the lead and making the changes that will ensure our place as one of the healthiest counties for years to come, ” said Barbara Brightwell, Georgetown resident and member of the Community Health Improvement Steering Committee.

Spring into Action on April 4
Community-wide accomplishments will be celebrated at the WilCo Wellness Alliance’s inaugural Spring into Action event  from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday, April 4, at the Old Settlers Association Main Hall in Round Rock.

This event will showcase WilCo Wellness Alliance partners and initiatives, celebrate the County Health Rankings, and promote National Public Health Week (April 1-7) and Healthy Texans Week (April 8-14). The public is encouraged to attend.

About the rankings
The rankings are produced by the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The annual report analyzes the health of every county across the United States. The rankings cover health outcomes, mortality, and morbidity as well as factors influencing health such as smoking, exercise, and access to quality care. The report compares these measures among counties in each state.

The rankings are available online.

Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2013

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