Watauga State of the County’s Health Report Released

Last Updated on February 21, 2020 9:01 am

[Boone, NC] — AppHealthCare has released the 2019 State of the County’s Health (SOTCH) Report (view report here). The report includes a summary of demographics, leading causes of death, updates on the community’s top three health priorities, emerging issues and new initiatives. The SOTCH report is released each year between cycles of conducting a community health assessment. The most recent community health assessment was published March 2018 (link to community health assessment).

Key demographics for Watauga County include 19% of children are living in poverty (2017), 15% of children are uninsured (2017) and the leading causes of death are cancer, diseases of the heart, chronic lower respiratory diseases, and Alzheimer’s disease (North Carolina County Health Data Book, 2017). The risk factors that can lead to disease and death include poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, and tobacco use.

Watauga County’s health priorities, identified and chosen by the Watauga Compassionate Community Initiative, are mental and behavioral health, substance use and misuse prevention and physical activity and nutrition. The SOTCH report gives a detailed update on each of these priorities and what is being done in the community to address them.

AppHealthCare and the community are working to address the leading causes of death in Watauga County by expanding access to critical 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.

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

  • Practice safe prescription medication use by taking 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 your local health department.
  • The opportunity for health begins in our families, neighborhoods, schools and jobs. Participate in local bike and walk safety programs to and from school. 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 active, eat local vegetables and fruits.
  • All citizens have the opportunity to make the choices that allow them to live a long, healthy life. Support active transportation including walking and biking.

To obtain a copy of the State of Health report, click here.

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 or visit our website at and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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