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Cass County responds to county health rankings

WALKER – Cass County was ranked last in a recent list of Minnesota’s healthiest counties, according to a recent report.

Cass County was ranked 87th of Minnesota’s 87 counties in the 2013 County Health Rankings, released Wednesday by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Counties were ranked on factors such as smoking, obesity, physical inactivity and teen birth rates.

Beltrami was ranked 80th, Hubbard 53rd and Itasca 69th. Carver was found to be the healthiest county in the state.

In a two-page press release issued Thursday afternoon, Cass County Health Human and Veterans Services explained how the rankings were developed and said the county will use the rankings in conjunction with other statistical data to continue to re-evaluate and prioritize planning of public health activities.

The release highlighted numerous programs and activities underway in Cass County designed to help combat obesity and tobacco use, which are the two largest causes of chronic disease and premature death.