health

For the 12th consecutive year, St. Charles County ranks among the top of Missouri's "Healthiest Counties". The annual County Health Rankings report, released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin's Population Health Institute, places St. Charles County second in the state for both Health Outcomes and Health Factors.

"Being and staying healthy is important to the residents and leaders of St. Charles County," says Department of Public Health Director Demetrius Cianci-Chapman. "Whether it be through current activities to prevent further spread of COVID-19 or through ongoing programs for children, adults and seniors, this community proactively seeks ways to improve the quality of life for those who choose to live or work here. These continued high marks received through the County Health Rankings and other national reports are recognition for these efforts and provide additional motivation to expand healthy accomplishments within our community."

County Executive Steve Ehlmann commented that "this dedication to being and staying healthy may have been an important factor in the lower rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations and a significantly lower rate of death" for St. Charles County versus other jurisdictions in the region.

County Health Rankings are based upon public data collected from vital statistics and government surveys. Health Outcomes displays a current picture of a community's health, considering factors such the physical and mental health of residents and length of life. Health Factors encompasses community behaviors, access to clinical care, socio-economic levels, and the physical environment to show aspects that influence the current and future health of the community. The rankings placed St. Charles County among Missouri and the nation's top performers in many of the evaluated sections. The complete nationwide and Missouri-specific rankings may be viewed at countyhealthrankings.org.

"While this recognition furthers the notion that St. Charles County is an excellent place to raise a family or to start, grow or relocate a business, there is more that can be achieved to improve the health of our citizens," Cianci-Chapman notes. "Our department staff actively networks with community partners and stakeholders to assess needs, monitor threats and take actions to reduce incidences of illness. In addition, through the services we offer, our staff works with residents to reduce health risks and educate them on ways to further improve their quality of life."

Although the pandemic has changed the immediate focus for the Department of Public Health toward the prevention of COVID-19 and the administration of vaccinations, staff continues to provide services for the benefit of children and adults in this community. These services include free or low-cost immunizations; communicable disease investigation and control; nutritional counseling and assistance for families; the inspection of public service providers like restaurants, lodging facilities, fitness centers and more; outreach to counter the prescription drug and opioid drug abuse problem; the issuance of birth and death records; the collection of recyclable materials; efforts to reduce nuisance mosquitoes and other pests; community programs to aid pets and pet owners; and much more. For a complete list of services provided by the department, visit sccmo.org/PublicHealth or call 636-949-7400.