A report ranks Boone County in top 10 healthiest counties

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COLUMBIA - A new study ranked Boone County in the top 10 healthiest counties in Missouri.

The study was led by the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It ranked counties on Health Outcomes and Health Factors. 

Health Outcomes ranked counties on how long people live and how healthy they are while they're alive. Health Factors ranked counties on health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic, and physical environment factors.

The report put Boone County at 14th for Health Outcomes and 7th for Health Factors. 

Neighboring areas, like Callaway County, did not rank quite as well. It was ranked at 62nd for Health Outcomes and 39th for Health Factors. 

Dr. Scott Schultz from Providence Urgent Care said this has a lot to do with Boone County having two of the best hospitals in the state. 

"We're kind of the place for several surrounding counties to come and get healthcare. So when you look at it on a county-by-county basis our doctors per population are going to be a lot higher than say Callaway County or Randolph County because those people actually come here," Schultz said. "So that kind of skews the results." 

He also said Boone County's high ranking probably has a lot to do with the education level of the area. He said it has been proven time and time again being educated leads to a healthier life style and making healthier decisions. 

"Being in Columbia and in Boone County where the education level is traditionally a little higher than maybe some of the more rural areas it makes sense that we would have a healthier population," he said. 

Executive Director of Boone County Family Resources, Robyn Kaufman, said the ranking has a lot to do with valuing health. 

"There is a push for green space, exercise opportunities and free opportunities for health too," Kaufman said. "I also think the community values those things. By putting money, resources, energy, brainstorming into ways that we can improve the health of our community, I think just valuing health is really important." 


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