In the southern end of California’s Santa Cruz County—a mostly wealthy county that ranked 10 out of 56 counties in California in the 2012 County Health Rankings —are the fields that produce food eaten at dinner tables and restaurants around the country. But the men and women who work those fields don’t often get to enjoy the fruits (or vegetables) of their labor.
Nestled along the eastern shore of Mount Hope Bay in Bristol County, Fall River, MA, was a mill town for about 150 years. As recently as half a century ago, families who called it home knew the mills would provide steady employment. That changed when the economy changed, and many of the biggest mills closed down. Today about a quarter of residents live in poverty and the unemployment rate is around 9 percent.
Public safety is an important component of every community’s overall health. In Flint, MI, located in Genesee County, the violent crime rate is over 400 percent of the national average, making safety a primary concern for many of the city’s residents.
Rockingham County, dubbed as North Carolina’s North Star, is nestled at the tip of the Northern Piedmont Triad region and cradled by the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Though Rockingham County is mostly rural (county size – 572 square miles with a population of approximately 93,063), its communities still offer small-town living balanced with 21st century amenities.