Study: Martinsville, Galax and Covington among least healthy cities in Virginia

By Megan Newhard - Intern
Photo from Pexels

According to the ninth annual County Health Rankings, Martinsville, Galax and Covington are among the five Virginia counties in the poorest health.

The remaining two areas of concern are the cities of Petersburg and Emporia.

The rankings were released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. 

The five healthiest counties in Virginia, in descending order, are Loudoun County, Arlington County, Fairfax County, Falls Church City and Poquoson City.

In an attempt to combat their poor health ranking, the Crater Health District, which includes Petersburg and Emporia, hosted a number of training workshops over the last year on adverse childhood experiences, trauma-informed care and resilience within the district.

The CHD also operates the HealthSpace Teen Clinic in both the Petersburg and Hopewell health departments to help decrease teen pregnancy rates.

Efforts such as these have contributed to a 70 percent decrease in the teen pregnancy rate in Petersburg between 2000 and 2015.

In addition, the CHD operates an evening men's sexual health clinic to help reduce sexually transmitted infection and HIV rates in the city.

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