County Health Rankings 2014: Rockingham County, N.C.
The County Health Rankings, a joint project between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, shows how communities across the country are doing and how they can improve on their health.
One of the communities highlighted in the 2014 report is Rockingham County, North Carolina. The community went from a wealthy county to a poor one very quickly after losing two major industries only a couple of decades ago.
The population of about 90,000 suffers from high smoking rates, high obesity rates and high rates of smoking during pregnancy. When the 2010 County Health Rankings were released, the community's poor standing served as a wake-up call, and only a few years later the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust became involved and the county started to expand the conversation, looking at health as more than simply health care access.
Innovative community programs include the Virtual Farmer's Market, which gives local farmers a new market for their products while also providing them with an education on how to reach out using technology as a means for boosting small business; a planned partnership between Triad Adult and Pediatric Medicine and the New Reidsville Public Housing Authority; and the planned Nurse-Family Partnership Program, which will pair home visiting nurses with at-risk moms and children up until the age of two. The fifth edition of the County Health Rankings continues to show us where we live matters to our health.