Cape Fear region counties fare poorly in health survey

Paige Rentz
Original Article:

The Cape Fear region holds many of the state’s least healthy counties.

The joint effort by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute show that once again Columbus, Bladen, Scotland and Robeson counties remain consistently among the lowest-ranked counties in terms of health.

Cumberland County remained 73rd in the state in terms of health outcomes, which measures premature death, low birth weight and people’s perceptions of their own health.

Wilson said communicable disease control specialists perform education and testing across the county, also working with other organizations such as churches, universities, and the homeless stand-down. These employees also make home visits, notifying patients of positive tests and help with partner notification.

The health department has also begun marketing the STD clinic, giving out cards to pass out to friends to let them know about the services it offers.

Wilson said the health department has also participated in Fayetteville Police Department’s Prostitute Diversion Initiative, which enables clinic staff to interact with and educate high-risk populations, for example, men who have sex with men.

"The rankings can always serve as a starting point in areas that the community can improve," Wilson said.

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