St. Tammany parish named healthiest in state

St. Tammany parish named healthiest in state

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Where you live matters to your health and if you want to be healthy, it seems St. Tammany parish just might be the place to plant your roots.

Recently named the healthiest parish in Louisiana in the County Health Rankings released by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the report is the first to rank overall health by county/parish in all 50 states and highlights that our health depends on many different factors.

The study measured health in two different ways:  health outcomes and health factors.  Health outcomes took into account how long people live and how healthy people feel while alive.  Health factors evaluated individual behaviors such as smoking; access to health care; social and economic factors like education, income, and employment; and the physical environment.

“I’m not surprised St. Tammany is the healthiest.  We have access to parks and outdoor activities, great health clubs, and good fresh food,” said Dr. Lisa Marie Chambers, a licensed Naturopathic Physician practicing in Mandeville.  She also believes education and income play a huge role in appreciating and affording that access since things like fresh organic food and health club memberships can be expensive.

St. Tammany parish has long been a destination for those in search of nature and outdoor recreation.  With its numerous parks and playgrounds, rivers and streams, Lake Pontchartrain, and the Tammany Trace, north shore families enjoy activities like biking, running, sailing, kayaking, canoeing, golfing, and organized sports year round.

“These are things which cannot be measured directly, but they play an important part in our overall health,” said St. Tammany Parish President Kevin Davis.

The rationale for the study was to provide a call to action for communities to address barriers to good health and invest in programs and policy changes to help residents lead healthier lives.

“I am very pleased with the results of the survey, but I think we need to keep working hard to improve areas in which we may be lacking,” said Davis.  The opening of St. Tammany’s first community based health clinic will be an important step in providing quality health care to all citizens in the area.

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