Oklahoma health ranking improves

By: Helen Headlee Email
By: Helen Headlee Email

Oklahoma residents are getting healthier. America's Health rankings show that this year the state jumped to 43rd healthiest in the union from 48th healthiest last year.

Sharon Ford with the Carter County Health Department said the community is to thank for the improvement.

"There's our community efforts among different community partners like public health and the medical community," Ford said.

But that isn't the only reason Oklahoma is healthier. Ford said the health department has implemented educational programs about infant mortality, infectious diseases and vaccinations that have helped improve the ranking.

When it comes to infant mortality Oklahoma has gone from 41 to 39 in the rankings, and the immunization rankings have climbed from 46 to 20.

These numbers speak to Mary Bernt, a mom and health store owner and they tell her what she's already heard.

"I'm not really surprised because we talk to people every day that are really tired of feeling sick and tired," Bernt said.

But the state still has challenges to meet. Oklahoma still ranks among the lowest in the United States for smoking, diabetes, and obesity. For the health department, the focus is on Oklahoma's future.

"We're excited to move up, and we do recognize that we do still have a lot of work to do," said Ford.

So a healthy dose of that work will send Oklahoma up the ranks.


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