2017 KIDS COUNT County Data Book Details Current Status of Well-Being for Kentucky Children

The 2017 Kentucky KIDS COUNT County Data Book offers the latest data on 17 measures of child well-being, showing whether outcomes for children have improved, worsened, or stayed the same over a five-year period. It also offers detailed data for all 120 Kentucky counties, and calculates how many children would be impacted if Kentucky was able to make just a 10 percent improvement for each measure.

“The message behind the KIDS COUNT data is clear: giving children opportunities to succeed is essential if our state is to reach its potential,” said Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates (KYA). “Looking at data change over time illuminates areas of progress and areas of needed policy change and investment. If all of our kids-no matter their families’ income, skin color, or zip code-are to grow up to be healthy and productive citizens, their needs must be prioritized.”

The 2017 County Data Book allows users to investigate areas in which Kentucky and its counties are making progress and those needing focused attention for improvement by highlighting information and data in four domains of child well-being: economic security, education, health, and family and community.

“Quality data helps us focus our efforts to build healthier and safer communities,” said Mark Carter, CEO of Passport Health Plan, the signature sponsor of the Data Book. “That’s why we are so pleased to sponsor a tool that health provider partners, community agencies, youth, and advocates across Kentucky can utilize to build stronger communities for our future – our children.”

For example, health data continues to show progress for Kentucky kids. Nearly 96 percent of children under age 19 and 77 percent of young adults age 19-25 have health insurance, which they depend on to stay healthy. In addition, rates of smoking during pregnancy, babies born at low birthweight, and teen births all improved over the past 5 years.

Read the 2017 Kentucky KIDS COUNT County Data Book and access the Kentucky KIDS COUNT Data Dashboard, featuring data trends from the 2017 report, at  kyyouth.org.

 

Pediatrician Knows That Social Determinants Can Have a Bigger an Impact on Health Than Just Going to See the Doctor

Insider Louisville LogoThe gap between the life expectancy of babies born in the Smoketown neighborhood of Louisville compared with those born in the St. Matthews area is 15 years. That statistic – from the 2014 Louisville Metro Health Equity Report – helped Dr. Charlotte Gay Stites take action.

In early 2018, the pediatrician expects to open the doors to the Smoketown Family Wellness Center, a place where families can come to improve their health and well-being.

“Most parents have a great understanding of social determinants of health and what the impact those have on the health and well-being of their child,” she says in a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville. “Very often, when people come to the pediatric office, they are interested in talking about how their kid is doing in school, how their child is fitting in with their friends. Social determinants of health are a huge piece of health and well-being. They are related to education, income, social connectivity, employment – really the nuts and bolts of people’s lives.”

To read more about what Dr. Stites is doing, please click here.

 

Kentucky ranks 49th in seniors’ well-being, new survey shows

WellBeingFor the seventh year in a row, Kentucky has been ranked as the second-lowest state when it comes to the well-being of people aged 55 and older, beating out only West Virginia.

The rankings  are part of the 2015 Gallup-Healthways State of American Well-Being series. Kentucky’s “well-being index score” was 61.2, ranking just ahead of West Virginia (59.9) and just below Oklahoma (62.0), Ohio (62.5), Indiana and Vermont (62.7 each). The score is calculated on a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being the best. Hawaii ranked No. 1, with a score of 67.0.

The analysis ranks states according to five different measures of well-being for seniors and then ranks them based on the overall score. Those measures (with Kentucky’s ranks noted in parentheses) are:

  • Purpose: Liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals (48)
  • Social: Having supportive relationships and love in your life (46)
  • Financial: Managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security (41)
  • Community: Liking where you live, feeling safe and having pride in your community (40)
  • Physical: Having good health and enough energy to get things done daily (49)

James Kimbrough, president of AARP Kentucky, told Darla Carter of The Courier-Journal that he thought the problem was rooted in poor eating habits and a lack of physical activity and said he would like to see state’s legislative leaders be public role models in these areas.

“The healthiest states in the country have a culture of encouraging people to exercise, to be outdoors, to not sit in front of the TVs,” he said.