Georgia ranks 40th in overall health - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Georgia ranks 40th in overall health

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November 19, 2002

Albany-- Georgia ranks 40th in the nation when it comes to health. And experts say there's a correlation between poor health and Education and economics.

These preemie's are getting some of the best care medicine has to offer--97 % of the babies born prematurely at Phoebe Putney Hospital will go home healthy. With care like this--why would Georgia's health rank 40th out of 50 states?

"We know in Southwest Georgia where we haven't shared the economic boom like the rest of the state we can have as many as one out of two people without any health insurance." Dr. Sandy Handwerk heads the Community Health Institute. Dr. Handwerk says no access to health insurance is just one of many pieces that make up the healthcare puzzle in Georgia, "More than that education is an issue. One of the worst indicators in Georgia placed 49th out of 50 states in the percent of students that graduate from high school."

The study ranked Georgia 49th in high school graduation rate. Up from last place the year before--a result that Dr. Handwerk says is the root of the problem, "If you don't graduate high school you don't get a good job, no insurance, less likely to get care."

Georgia's low ranking indicates there is much to improve upon, but Dr. Handwerk says the state is moving in the right direction, "We have made improvements we are on the right track."

New Hampshire ranked first out of the 50 states, a position the state has held for six of the last 13 years.

Posted at 6:05 p.m. by melissa.kill@walb.com