Featured in the: yakimaherald.com

Poverty, poor choices and not enough doctors.

That sums up why Yakima County struggles so much to improve its health, said Dr. Mike Maples, responding to Wednesday’s release of a national report that gave the county low grades on a range of health issues.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin’s annual County Health Rankings report, which compares counties nationwide on a variety of health outcomes and factors, ranked Yakima 37th out of the state’s 39 counties when it comes to behavior, demographics and environmental factors that lead to poor health.

Maples has headed up Community Health of Central Washington, a community health center, for 20 years, and says factors such as Yakima’s labor force, employment status and average income haven’t changed much in recent years.

Yakima’s rankings have held mostly steady over the four years the report has come out, often coming in the bottom five. Read more…