A recent study indicating the Peninsula is getting healthier is cause not only to celebrate, but also examine those factors that brought us here.
The 2012 County Health Rankings indicate the Peninsula is sixth in the state in health outcomes and eighth in health factors -- both of which improved from 2010's numbers. We spoke with a variety of people in the community about what things might be making us healthier and the overwhelming response was access to health infrastructure and programs.
Many people cited the things we've installed to help us with out health goals, such as the Unity Trail, parks, disc golf courses, skiing and snowshoeing facilities, and the like. Sometimes we forget how far we've come and need to remember that advocating for such infrastructure in the future will have lasting impacts for decades.
We would like to remind both Kenai and Soldotna officials -- who are continually working on plans to guide their cities to 2030 -- to remember that fact. An ounce of investment in health infrastructure now means pounds of healthier outcomes in the future.
The local health community also deserves a round of applause for those community programs that focus on health and provide information a wide variety of health issues. Education is just as important as infrastructure and as our population continues to age, so will increase the need for these programs.