Project updates, commentaries, events and news about health across the nation from the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps team.

Get Inspired: Least Healthy County in Indiana is Determined to Improve Health

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

What would you do if the county you'd lived in and loved for many decades was ranked the least healthy county in your state for three years running? What if you found out your county has the highest rate of prescription drug deaths in a six-county area?

Scott County, Indiana, has suffered from decades of generational poverty with all its associated problems: isolation, depression, poor diet, tobacco use, child abuse, and teen pregnancy. According to the 2012 County Health Rankings, the rate of premature death in Scott County is much higher than the state average.

"We die too young here and people don't feel well," says Carolyn King, Health Outcomes Task Force Chair for the Scott County Partnership.

But a passionate group of people from every sector has been working together to turn things around and they're in it for the long haul.

The Scott County Partnership works to improve the local workforce and employment through education, training, and social services. There is also a 40-member coalition called CEASe (Coalition to Eliminate Abuse of Substances of Scott County) that addresses the prescription drug abuse problem. To promote positive health, the Health Outcomes Task Force started the Facebook page "Feeling Good Scott County" to describe their successful health initiatives.