McMinn County, Tennessee is in Southeast Tennessee. Its principal cities include Athens, Etowah, and Niota. Though 60% rural, McMinn is proud to host branches of Mayfield Dairy Farms, Johnson Controls, Johns Manville, and other big business names. It is also the site of Tennessee Wesleyan College, Cleveland State Community College (Athens Campus), and Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Athens. The McMinn County School District consists of ten schools, including a Career and Technical Center.
The county has had a slight drop in employment between 2000 and 2009, but McMinn citizens work in construction, transportation equipment, furniture/related products manufacture, electric equipment/appliances, paper, truck transportation, and food industries.
Woods Memorial Hospital in Etowah is financially endangered, but there is another hospital in Athens. 3,324 of the county’s 52,266 citizens (6.36%) are in the Medicaid Gap. 21.2% live in poverty. McMinn has over 2,000 men and over 2,000 women between the ages of 21 and 64 who are considered employment disabled.
The main point of this profile is to highlight the county’s health dilemma by using the Years of Potential Life Lost measurement developed recently. To explain this measurement, I will repeat the information given previously.
The average normal age of death used here is 75, and all the recorded deaths in each county during a year are considered. For instance, if a person dies at 25, he/she contributes 50 years to the YPLL rate. The latest YPLL rates are for the years 2008-2010. What we are measuring here is PREMATURE MORTALITY. Accidents and diseases happen to everybody, but, by comparing counties, we can get an idea of the county’s general health. For instance, the wealthiest and healthiest county in Tennessee is Williamson County, and their YPLL as of 2008-2010 was 3,839 Years of Potential Life.
McMinn County’s YPLL rate is 9,985 years of potential life lost. Its death rate per thousand tracked with or was slightly above the state average between 1990 and 2006. The fatal accident rate between 1993 and 2009 was consistently above the state average, the only exception being the year 1999. It should be noted that this is a 430 square mile county, with hospitals located only in major cities.
McMinn County’s state senator is Mike Bell. Concerned citizens can contact him electronically at email@example.com or telephone his office at 615-741-1946.