The Mountain State has make strides toward better health, but the latest county health rankings show there's still a long way to go.
Dick Wittberg, executive director of the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department says everything that improves tobacco use, promotes safe sex and reduces teenage pregnancy makes the rankings that much better.
"Wood County for health outcomes has gone from number 10 in 2010 to 18 in 11 and we're now at number 32 in 2012. I'm not sure what drives that and as you can see the numbers bounce around quite a bit, so you have to take those readings with a grain of salt," Wittberg says. "It could be that next year we'll be at number one, two or three."
Wittberg says West Virginians take steps to improve their health. Unfortunately, it doesn't always show up in health outcomes, which troubles him. Health outcomes measure mortality and morbidity.
"For health factors, Pleasants County was number five in the state, and I think that's pretty good. Wood County has gone from 19 in 2010 to 17 in 2011 and we're at 14 right now," Wittberg says.
Health factors are based on behavioral, clinical, social and economic, and environmental factors.