Robert Wood Johnson Foundation sites access to exercise opportunities and healthy environment as key factors
PLATTE CITY, Mo. — Platte County ranked #1 out of 115 counties in Missouri for quality of life in a new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Platte ranked second highest for health factors.
The 2016 County Health Rankings compares differences on a broad range of indicators that affect quality of life and health among almost every county throughout the US. Platte County’s top ranking reflects residents’ high priority on health as evidenced by their support for parks, schools, roads, alternate transportation, and safe neighborhoods where they live and work.
Over the past fifteen years Platte County implemented a comprehensive Parks System Master Plan to create six new parks, over thirty miles of trails, programming at all locations to engage the widest community participation, and two indoor community centers operated through a unique partnership with the YMCA.
“As a charitable nonprofit organization dedicated to healthy living, the Y is grateful to partner with Platte County to operate our two community centers and provide a variety of programs that help improve quality of life for residents of all ages,” said David Byrd, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Kansas City. Platte County residents support the YMCA’s with a membership density that surpasses any others in the Kansas City area. “From chronic disease prevention and management to social activities, our programs impact quality of life not only by improving physical health, but also enriching the quality of mental and social well-being.”
Platte County also supports an informal and friendly economic environment that results in safe neighborhoods and healthy business sectors – retail, office, and industrial – including the Kansas City Mid-continent International Airport. Public investment in a reliable transportation network contributes directly to private investment that results in resident happiness. “Platte County’s unique quality of life provides the perfect complement to excellent business opportunities,” noted Alicia Stephens, Executive Director of the Platte County Economic Development Council. “It’s all about choices – the choice of a competitive location for business AND a choice place that provides a unique work-life balance. Platte County’s quality of life ranking equates to accessibility, amenities, education, safety and most important – working together toward the common goal of making Platte County a premier location.”
The County Health Rankings, a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI), compares counties within each state on more than 30 factors impacting health such as education, jobs, housing, exercise, commuting times, and more. Over the past seven years the Rankings, available at www.countyhealthrankings.org, have become an important tool for local communities working to build a culture of health.