State of the County Health Report Released for Watauga County

Last Updated on October 6, 2022 1:50 pm

[Boone, NC] – AppHealthCare, in collaboration with various agencies and community partners, has released the State of the County Health (SOTCH) Report for Watauga County. This report provides an update on public health priorities, county demographics, leading causes of death, and information on emerging issues.

The SOTCH report is released each year between cycles of conducting a Community Health Report. The most recent Community Health Report was published in January 2022.

The health priorities below were identified and chosen by the Watauga Compassionate Community Initiative collaborative in August 2021 and the SOTCH report provides an update on progress for each area. These are key areas community coalitions within Watauga County will focus on and work to improve:

  • Mental/Behavioral Health – Depression, anxiety, emotional well-being, suicide prevention, and support/intervention for those with mental illness.
  • Family and Social Supports – Increased community and social supports in places where people live, learn, work, play, and pray; and
  • Housing – Issues related to housing can impact community members in a variety of ways, including impacting long-term health outcomes. A diverse group of community members and key agencies have come together to take action on the increasingly complex topic of housing in Watauga County.

Within each health priority, there is a focus on health equity that highlights a commitment to make sure all people have full and equal access to opportunities to help them lead healthy lives.

AppHealthCare and the community are working to address the leading causes of death in Watauga County by expanding access to important services and developing and enhancing community partnerships that encourage healthy behaviors.

“We use these reports to inform how we can work together as a community to implement program and policy changes that improve health for all people. It takes partnerships across sectors, not just those in public health and healthcare, in addition to action, to improve the health in our community,” said Jennifer Greene, Health Director/CEO, AppHealthCare.

What Can We Do Together to Improve Our Community’s Health?

  • Practice safe prescription medication use by taking it correctly, storing securely, disposing properly, and never sharing.
  • Health begins where we live, learn, work and play. Take action in building our neighborhood to be safe and healthy.
  • Being healthy takes a community. Attend a Mental Health First Aid training and join local community groups that work to support mental health systems.
  • Your opportunity for health starts long before you need medical care. Sign up for your local Women, Infant & Children (WIC) program through AppHealthCare.
  • The opportunity for health begins in our families, neighborhoods, schools, and jobs. Buy local fruits and vegetables at the Farmers’ Market. Being healthy takes a community.
  • Your neighborhood or job shouldn’t be hazardous to your health. Support tobacco-free living.
  • Health starts—long before illness—in our homes, schools, and jobs. Investing in our mothers and children is investing in our future.
  • Live actively, and eat local vegetables and fruits.
  • All citizens have the opportunity to make the choices that allow them to live a long, healthy life. Support local policies for sidewalks and bike lanes.

Together, we will work toward a shared goal for a healthier Watauga County.

To view the State of the County Health Report for Watauga County, visit AppHealthCare’s website.

For additional information about AppHealthCare or other community resources and health-related data, please call our offices, Alleghany (336) 372-5641, Ashe (336) 246-9449, Watauga (828) 264-4995. For more information, visit our website at and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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