By most measures, health outcomes in the Ohio Valley region are not very good, with many parts of Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia ranking near the bottom among states.
But a team of health researchers may have found a few places within the region that stand out. They see them as potential ‘bright spots’ -- places with some health measures better than expected for the region.
Now the researchers want to know why these communities fare better and whether the lessons can be applied elsewhere.
Residents of West Virginia’s smallest county give different answers when asked to describe their home.
“There is here a very strong sense of community," a local reverend said.
“The people are friendly. They’re helpful,” according to a woman working with a local non-profit operating in one of the county’s poorest areas.