ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A new health rankings shows challenges in healthcare in Southwest Georgia.
Dougherty County's overall ranking depicts great room for improvement.
The county ranks 148th out of the state's 159 counties in health outcomes.
But the county's bright spot is in Clinical Care where Dougherty ranks 19th, which is largely due to Phoebe's health services.
Phoebe's efforts to attract physicians and other advanced providers gives residents greater access to healthcare than the average Georgian.
The ratio of population to primary care physicians is 1,060:1 in comparison to 1,530:1 statewide.
"The physicians in our community because what they have done. They have recognized you can really improve the overall healthcare of the community we serve by really emphasizing preventative healthcare," said Phoebe Chief Medical Officer Dr. Steve Kitchen.
Phoebe staff said many hospitals in rural counties struggle with residents having access to care due to social factors like poverty, education and employment.
And because of it, doctors find high blood pressure, hypertension, diabetes and cancer tend to be more prevalent in the Southeast.