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Medina, Geauga, Lake counties high on 2022 U.S. News Healthiest Communities rankings

by Jun 22, 2022business

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Medina Square Farmers Market is set to open Saturday, May 15. The market - which will run through Saturday, Oct. 16 - will be open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekly. The market will showcase more than 45 vendors selling locally grown or produced products from within a 35-mile radius of Medina.  Market manager Angela Mansier said in a release product offerings will be expanded, after hearing customer feedback. “We’re happy to have broadened the market to include several new bakeries with really unique products, gluten-free breads and baking mixes, and roasted nuts and nut butters. We’ve added a few new produce vendors with micro-greens and edible flowers, heirloom vegetables, and a few more protein vendors.” Most vendors accept SNAP/Ohio Direction and Produce Perks tokens, available for purchase at the market.  Covid-safety precautions will continue, including social-distancing and sanitation measures, larger vendor spaces to accommodate product and sales areas, and marked entrances and exits for pedestrian traffic patterns. Organizers said if restrictions are lifted, the market will incorporate live music and a cooking-show demonstration program.  Free parking is available in the county parking deck on S. Jefferson Street between E. Liberty and E. Washington streets, in the city deck near 117 W. Liberty St., and on-street parking around Medina Square.  Related coverage: North Union Farmers Market starts up again in Crocker Park, Shaker Square I am on cleveland.com’s life and culture team and cover food, beer, wine and sports-related topics. If you want to see my stories, here’s a directory on cleveland.com. Bill Wills of WTAM-1100 and I talk food and drink usually at 8:20 a.m. Thursday morning. And tune in at 7:05 a.m. Wednesdays for “Beer with Bona and Much, Much More” with Munch Bishop on 1350-AM The Gambler. Twitter: @mbona30. Get a jumpstart on the weekend and sign up for Cleveland.com’s weekly “In the CLE” email newsletter, your essential guide to the top things to in Greater Cleveland. It will arrive in your inbox on Friday mornings - an exclusive to-do list, focusing on the best of the weekend fun. Restaurants, music, movies, performing arts, family fun and more. Just click here to subscribe. All cleveland.com newsletters are free.

Medina County was ranked the highest of three Northeast Ohio counties considered among the top 500 healthiest communities in the country, according to the 2022 U.S. News and World Report Healthiest Communities Rankings released Wednesday.

The other two Northeast Ohio counties ranked in the top 500 were Geauga and Lake. Cuyahoga, Summit and other Northeast Ohio counties did not score high enough to make the top-500 ranking. Only the top 500 healthiest communities were ranked.

The U.S. News rankings looked at data in 10 categories: population health, equity, education, economy, housing, food, nutrition, environment and public safety, community vitality, infrastructure.

For the first time, the U.S. News 2022 rankings included factors related to natural disasters and how they threaten racial and ethnic populations.

Ohio’s Delaware County, located north of Columbus, ranked tenth in the top 10 healthiest communities in the United States. It was the only Ohio county to crack the top 10 list. Delaware County scored high for its economy, population health and infrastructure.

Overall, Ohio placed 12 counties in the top 500 rankings.

For the third year in a row, Los Alamos County, New Mexico, took the top spot in the national rankings, followed by Falls Church, Virginia, in second place and Douglas County, Colorado, in third place. Morgan County, Utah, and Carver County, Minnesota, completed the top five healthiest communities.

The fifth annual U.S. News Healthiest Communities Rankings, a collaboration with CVS Health, are a tool to help people improve health and well being in their community, said Gary Emerling, editor in charge of the Healthiest Communities rankings for U.S. News.

The list serves to alert communities about how well they are overcoming social determinants of health and where improvement is needed, Emerling said. Communities struggling with high rates of obesity, diabetes or poverty could decide on initiatives to improve food access.

“In each place, there’s going to be something good and there’s going to be something where they can improve,” Emerling said. “We want people to be able to pinpoint those things.”

A county’s overall score was calculated using the average of category scores. The final rankings of the 500 Healthiest Communities in the U.S. are based on this overall score.

In 2021, Delaware County was the healthiest community in Ohio and among the 20 healthiest in the United States in that year’s U.S. News healthiest communities rankings.

In 2020, among Ohio counties, Delaware County ranked as the healthiest community with an overall ranking of 16, followed by Warren County near Cincinnati, with an overall ranking of 88 out of 500 ranked communities. Cuyahoga, Summit, Lorain and Lake counties ranked below the cutoff of the 500 top counties in the rankings.

How Ohio counties ranked:

Here is a list of Ohio counties on the top 500 list and their rankings in the list of top 500 counties:

Delaware County: 10

Union County: 65

Medina County: 77

Warren County: 89

Geauga County: 155

Mercer County: 213

Auglaize County: 232

Greene County: 318

Putnam County: 320

Wood County: 394

Henry County: 399

Lake County: 406

Here is a list of how Northeast Ohio counties scored out of a possible 100 points, listed highest to lowest.

Medina County: 78

Lake County: 65

Geauga County: 73

Portage County: 58

Summit County: 52

Lorain County: 49

Cuyahoga County: 46

Ashtabula County: 35

Since there are about 3,000 counties in the country, and U.S. News ranked the top 500, being unranked doesn’t mean a community is extremely unhealthy, Emerling said. “There are just more areas to improve,” he said.

Cuyahoga County’s score of 46 is about in the middle of all U.S. county scores, he said. Cuyahoga County scored well in education, infrastructure, but less well in the equity and public safety categories.

How did COVID-19 affect the rankings?

It’s hard to pinpoint how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the county rankings. Because of lag times in reporting data, some statistics used for the U.S. News rankings predated the pandemic, while other data reflects information gathered during the pandemic, he said.

Next year’s healthiest community rankings will more accurately reflect COVID-19′s impact on communities, he said.

Data used to evaluate community health

The Healthiest Communities rankings from U.S. News & World Report show how nearly 3,000 counties and county equivalents perform in 89 metrics across 10 health and health-related categories.

The rankings used categories identified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as key to evaluating community health, U.S. News said.

U.S. News collaborated with the University of Missouri Extension Center for Applied Research and Engagement Systems to collect and analyze data, which came from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Census Bureau, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other sources.

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