DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — Data analyzed by US News and World Report shows seven of the top 20 healthiest counties in the United States are in Colorado. Douglas County tops the list.
Of the top 20 locations, Colorado counties ranked in the following order:
17. San Miguel
“I think it speaks a lot to the efforts that are taking place at the state level as well as with our leaders at the local level,” said Joan Brucha with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
The department says state grants help local governments improve planning around open spaces, the quality of air and water, and access to food
“The more data sets that you have, I think the better prepared you are to address the unique problems in communities,” Brucha explained.
US News and World Report included 10 categories among its analysis. Those categories include:
— Population Health
— Food & Nutrition
— Public Safety
— Community Vitality
“We have one of the lowest crime rates in the whole Front Range,” said Holly Nicholson-Kluth, Douglas County’s undersheriff.
Nicholson-Kluth says her department spends less on public safety compared to surrounding communities and does more with less. She credits the deputies, but also, the more than 300 resident volunteers for the success.
“Having those connections in the county — those citizens [who] are willing to come and make their community safe — really makes a difference,” she said.
On the state level, health officials are looking toward the future. They’re pointing to Gov. Jared Polis’ efforts to reduce healthcare costs by promoting healthy lifestyles. Those are priorities they believe will lead to positive results in 2020 and beyond.