Williamson County in Middle Tennessee is the wealthiest county in the state. It has a historic court house, an Ag Expo Park, and a county fair, but it is chiefly noted for its corporate headquarters and exclusive home and shopping areas. The county boasts two school systems – Williamson County School District with 40 schools, and Franklin Special School District with 8 elementary and middle schools. Also, Williamson County has a much greater percentage of private school students than the state average.
The 583 square mile county is 81% urban and 19% rural. Citizens not involved at corporate headquarters work in agriculture, mining/quarrying/oil and gas, construction, food services, beverage and tobacco services, textile mills and products, and apparel.
Williamson County Medical Center is a thriving hospital in Franklin and soon will include a division of the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital headquartered in Nashville. Only 4,282 of its 183,182 citizens (2.34%) are in the Medicaid Gap, and only 6.6% live in poverty. Like every other county, Williamson has a number of employment disabled citizens between 21 and 64; in this case, 2615 men and 2,445 women.
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.
Williamson County has by far and away the best YPLL rating in this state, reflecting its relative wealth. Despite having only one hospital for 583 square miles, its death per thousand rate was well below the state average between 1990 and 2006, and its fatal accident rate was below average for 1993 to 2009.
The loss of 3,839 years of potential life among Williamson County citizens is still a matter of concern, especially for those 4,282 citizens who cannot currently get health insurance coverage. Concerned citizens should contact Senator Jack Johnson electronically at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone his office at 615-741-2495.