St. Johns County ranked No. 1 when it comes to healthiest county

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A new report released says that St. Johns County is the healthiest county in the state of Florida for the eighth year in a row.

The study looked at several factors, like access to health care, obesity rates and healthy foods options.

The report released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute ranked all 67 counties in Florida and St. Johns came out on top.

Marla Capes is a nurse practitioner with Baptist Primary Care in St. Johns County. She said she sees a lot of healthy patients.

“A lot of patients eat healthily, there are excellent restaurants with healthy choices and they get exercise and they know what a healthy diet looks like,” said Capes.

People who live in the county tell Action News Jax it’s the access to doctors and health care, as well as physical activity throughout the area, that helps make their county No. 1 in the state.

"We love to ride our bikes, we love to go to the pool, actually both my kids play soccer in the neighborhood and everything, so it’s just a very active community,” said Alana Helton.

Helton has lived in St. Johns County for 12 years and said she’s not surprised the county was ranked No. 1 for the eighth year in the row.

“I’m not actually, just like I said, I think there’s a lot of amenity-rich neighborhoods out here that offer a lot of sports and activities and sports for all the kids and that’s exactly why the reason I moved here,” said Helton.

And while St. Johns scored high marks, Putnam County ranked 66th in the state.

Experts found that poverty is an indicator of health, and the report found that 61 percent of Florida’s children in poverty were living in a household that spends more than half it’s income on housing costs, meaning less money is spent on health care.

Putnam ranks low in health and in income, while St. Johns County is the state’s wealthiest county, according to a study released by 247Wallstreet earlier this year.

We also looked up neighboring counties and found that when it comes to health, Duval County ranked 44th in the state while

Clay County ranked 16th and Nassau ranked 36th.


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