The health and wellness indicators reveal issues which present continuing challenges to the community.
The health and wellness indicators are health insurance coverage rate, non-emergency use of hospital emergency departments by self-paying or indigent patients, percentage of high school students with an unhealthy weight, and percentage of babies born with a healthy weight. Good health outcomes improve the quality of life, enhance productivity, and contribute to the well-being of a community as a whole.
Chatham County's health insurance coverage rate is two percentage points less than the state average for those ages 18 to 64. The non-emergency use of hospital emergency departments increased substantially from 2011 to 2012 and broke out a four-year period of relative stability. In 2012, the percentage of high school students in Chatham County who have unhealthy weight is approximately equal to the state (2011 YRBS data). In Chatham County, the prevalence of overweight adolescents was higher among females and African Americans. A lower proportion of babies were born with a healthy weight in Chatham County as compared to Georgia. The incidence of healthy birth weight babies favorably reversed a downward trend for the state, while the county rate fell for the second consecutive year.
• The health insurance coverage rate for those ages 18 to 64 in Chatham County was 71.2% in 2011, a decrease from 2010. The state rate was 73.2%.
• In 2011, 92% of Chatham County residents under 18 had health coverage, which is higher than the state rate of 90.5%.
• In 2012, the non-emergency use of emergency rooms by self-pay or indigent patients was 83.6 visits per 1,000 population, a substantial jump from 63 in 2011.
• The percentage of Chatham County high school students of unhealthy weight was 34.6% in 2012, as compared to 34.8% for the state (in 2011).
• In 2011, healthy birth weight incidence in Chatham County was 89.8%, while in Georgia it was 90.6%.