In a study conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Jefferson County in central Oregon was identified as one of Oregon’s least health counties. Three counties weren’t ranked, but among those reporting, Jefferson ranked second to last in health outcomes (length and and quality of life), and last in health factors — which aggregated behavior, access to care, and economic and environmental factors.
Rural areas tended to rank more poorly than urban and suburban areas, and Jefferson County fits with this trend. It also has a higher than average population of American Indian and Hispanic residents, who often face barriers accessing quality health care.
- Tom Machala: Public Health Director at Jefferson County Public Health