Weakley County, Tennessee, located on the Kentucky border in West Tennessee, is the home of UT Martin. It is represented in the State House by Representative Andy Holt, an opponent of agricultural regulation who has recently been the subject of a Channel Five news report for his blatant hog farm mismanagement.
Weakley County’s principal cities are Dresden, Martin, Sharon, Gleason, and Greenfield. Its board of education presides over eleven schools, including one adult education facility. The county is 33% urban, 67% rural and has five full grocery stores and one supercenter/club store. Its citizens work in construction, plastic/rubber manufacturing, machinery, educational services, agriculture, truck transport, and metal products.
The only emergency services hospital in Weakley County is apparently Volunteer Community Hospital in Martin, though several clinics and a hospital for behavioral problems are also listed on Yahoo. 2,340 of the county’s 35,021 inhabitants (6.68%) are in the Medicaid Gap. 21% live in poverty. In addition, 1,387 men and 1,118 women between the ages of 21 and 64 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.
Weakley County’s YPLL rate is 8,379 years of potential life lost. This is a 580 square mile county with one hospital. Its death per thousand rate was above the state average between 1990 and 2006. Its fatal accident rate per thousand was below the state average between 1993 and 2009, except for spikes in 1993, 1994, 1995, and 2002.
Concerned Weakley County citizens are urged to contact their state senator, John Stevens. You can reach him electronically at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone his office at 615-741-4576,