BC Public Health

This is BC Public Health!

Public Health is at work all around us - protecting our health where we live, learn, work, play, and pray. Buncombe County Department of Health assures safe food and water, protects us from contagious diseases, promotes making the healthy choice the easy choice and assures that everyone can go to a doctor when they need one.

Public Health is more than Health Department services. It's people in neighborhoods, at local non-profits, in schools, churches, worksites, doctor's offices, hospitals, and community groups. It takes all of us to make our community a healthier place to live.

County Health Rankings

The Annual County Health Rankings Report offers a way for each county in the nation to take a look at how healthy we are today and how healthy we will be in the future. For the 2013 Rankings, Buncombe County ranks #19 in the state when it comes to overall health. Our overall health rankings have stayed in the Top 20 for the last three years.

These rankings, although very broad, help us see where we, as a community, are making some improvements. For example, in 2013 there was a significant improvement in the percentage of our low-income population with limited access to healthy foods, which improved by 44%. This is encouraging for our community members and partners who are working hard to make accessing fruits and vegetables easier for everyone.

When compared to North Carolina averages, Buncombe meets or exceeds the state averages for 24 of the 30 measures, which contributes to higher rankings in most categories. However, when compared to national benchmarks, we meet or exceed only six of the measures. North Carolina ranked 33rd in the nation for overall health in 2012 (American Health Rankings 2012), only better than 17 other states. This leaves room for a lot of improvement, even if we were to rank #1 in our state.

Our community is focusing on four public health priorities, which are comparable with findings in this year's health rankings:

Healthy Living
Preconception Health
Early Child Development
Access to Care

A Public Health Advisory Council, which is a committee of the county's integrated Health & Human Services (HHS) Board, works with the Board and the staff of HHS to guide efforts, in collaboration with community organizations and groups who are working together to make improvements in each of these areas of health.

For more information please visit the County Health Rankings site and review our “Snapshot” of the rankings. To learn more about our community's health priorities, visit our Health Assessment Reports page. For any other questions or comments, please contact Marian Arledge @ 775.4697 or Gaylen Ehrlichman @ 545.7041.