Cameron and Vernon are two healthy parishes

By Crystal Price - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Cameron Parish and Vernon Parish are two of the healthiest areas to live in according to the 2010 County Health Ranking report.

The University of Wisconsin's Population Health Institute compiled the report based on scientific relevance, importance, and availability of data at the county level.

The rankings are also based on a model of population health improvement which consists of each county's health outcomes, health factors, and programs and policies.

After months of research, the study found the following parishes as the healthiest in the state of Louisiana:

  1. St. Tammany
  2. Vernon
  3. Cameron
  4. Bossier
  5. Lafayette

Ronald Hand, CEO Administrator for S. Cameron Memorial Hospital said it is no surprise to see Cameron Parish do well in the study.

"Our secret is our size," said Hand. "We have the opportunity for everyone who goes into the patient room to really care about the patient and we have the time to give them to make the care good."

While Cameron Parish was successful at keeping their citizens healthy, the morbidity rates remained quite high for some parishes in southwest Louisiana.

Morbidity Rates:

  • Vernon (4)
  • Cameron (5)
  • Beauregard (15)
  • Calcasieu (22)
  • Jeff Davis (50)

Hand said while the size of the parish influenced the listing, physical and social factors also played a key role in the health outcome study.

In the health factor study, Cameron Parish dropped all the way down to Number 23 in the ranking.

Health Factor Results (Physical Environment)

  • Beauregard (14)
  • Jeff Davis (16)
  • Cameron (23)
  • Vernon (40)
  • Calcasieu (56)

"A lot of our hospital's business comes from industrial accidents and car accidents," said Hand. "We get some really bad cases, so that's why made it in to the top 5."

Through the study, however, hospital officials hope to improve their weaknesses and build on their strengths.

"If you don't have customers then you don't have a hospital," said Hand. "Their feedback is always usable in making your strategic plans."

If you would like to see how well your parish ranked in this study, click on "Parish Health Rankings in Louisiana" to the right.

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