The purpose of the Community Health Assessment (CHA) is to show the current health status of a community and to monitor its progress. It is an important piece of illustrating the health of Mason County, so that targeted efforts can be made to impact policies, health disparities, and the overall health of our community. The findings of this assessment will be used to find the focus areas for the 2023-2025 Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP).
Each year the County Health Rankings are published through the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps program from the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The County Health Rankings measures the health of almost every county in the country. The data for each county is organized into the Health Rankings Model. This model shows the many factors of a community’s health that, with improvement, can make the community a healthier place to live, work, and learn. In the model, the current health status of a community is described as health outcomes. These outcomes are ranked by the length of life and the quality of life. The rates of premature death and chronic disease help to determine those rankings. The health outcomes are influenced by the community’s health factors. These factors are ranked based on different health behaviors, clinical care, and social, economic, and physical environment measures. There are a wide range of policies and procedures that impact the health factors of a community. Some target specific behaviors while others take on larger systems or structures. There is no one policy or procedure that can ensure everyone will be healthier. Amendments to existing procedures or entirely new ones must be created to establish an overall healthier community. The County Health Rankings model shows us that the policies and programs play an important role in influencing the health factors, which in turn influence the health outcomes of a community (1).
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, much of the data has not been updated since 2020 or earlier. Many data sources have a break in data during 2020.
According to the Health Rankings Model, Mason County is ranked 25th out of 39 counties. For health outcomes, Mason is ranked in the lower middle range of counties in Washington state. Mason is ranked among the least healthy counties in terms of health factors.
The 2021 estimated population of Mason County is 65,750 residents (2). Although Mason County is a predominantly white population (83%), 12% identify as Hispanic origin of any race (3). Nine percent (9%) of Mason County residents are biracial or multiracial, 5% are American Indian or Alaska Native, and 1% are Black/African American or Asian (3).
Over half of the population (56.8%) are adults between the ages of 18 and 65. 23.7% of the population are seniors, over the age of 65 while 19.5% of the population are youth, under the age of 18 (2).
(1) County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. www.countyhealthrankings.org
(2) United States Census Bureau, QuickFacts: Mason County. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/masoncountywashington#
(3) Washington State Department of Health, Center for Health Statistics, Death Certificate Data, 1990-2019, Community Health Assessment Tool (CHAT), April 2023.