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A surprise about the healthiest county in the U.S.

Lopez Island, San Juan Islands, Washington.

Jeremy Hobson: There's a report out today that finds the healthiest place in the country isn't necessarily a place filled with hospitals.

Marketplace's Jennifer Collins has the details.


Jennifer Collins: San Juan is the healthiest county in Washington state -- and that's a little surprising: A quarter of its residents are uninsured. And they couldn't drive to a hospital, if they wanted to.

John Manning: It's all islands.

John Manning is the director of health and community services.

Manning: The only way to get here is to fly or take a boat. I suppose you could swim if you were hearty enough.

And the county does has some of the heartiest residents in the state. That's according to a report today by the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Patrick Remington: If we do one thing with this report, we want to uncouple the link between the quality of health care and the health of the community.

Patrick Remington oversaw the nationwide report.

Remington: If a community like San Juan is active, eating right, not smoking, they won't need high-cost, life-saving health care.

And he expects more national programs to get Americans to live like the folks in San Juan County, as health care reform rolls out preventive care initiatives over the next few years.

I'm Jennifer Collins for Marketplace.

About the author

Jennifer Collins is a reporter for the Marketplace portfolio of programs. She is based in Los Angeles, where she covers media, retail, the entertainment industry and the West Coast.

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