State Ranks 44th in Children's Health

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- In the last week a study by the Commonwealth Fund found Arkansas to be the 44th lowest state when it came to children's healthcare; a ranking that speaks loudly to the needs of a state strapped for cash.

"We are usually in the lower rankings because of our poverty levels and some of the access issues that children have in being able to secure good services," said Amy Rossi of Arkansas Center for Health Improvement.

Parents say they are not necessarily surprised by Arkansas ranking, but they do say if this is a problem, it's one the state needs to get ahold of and get corrected quickly.

"I don't think it's good. I think the kids deserve better healthcare. I don't like that, being 44th," said Sylvia West, a mother of four.

But is Arkansas' ranking really that big of a shock?

"I don't know. It don't surprise me. It seems our state don't seem to care that much about education or healthcare," said mother Rebecca Brooks.

But according to pediatricians like Doctor Lowery Beck of the Apache Children's Clinic, Arkansas has made some progress.

"We've still got a ways to go. Ten years ago, in these kind of studies, we would have been 49th. So, we are making some progress with this study, but still we obviously want to keep moving up," said Dr. Beck.

He says there are four main areas where the state needs to make improvements.

He notes up to date immunizations, childhood injury prevention, childhood obesity, and dental hygeine are at the top of that list.

However, according to the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement, those things are being worked on and progress is slowly leading to a healthier arkansas.

"I believe we are making strong strides in progress towards having all of our children achieve better health," said Rossi.

And that's a goal that hopefully will move arkansas forward into a healthy future.

And while we may be ranked in the worst of overall healthcare for children, Arkansas is marked as the most affordable state for healthcare in the country.  That's thanks to our ARKids First insurance program.

The overall study ranked Iowa as first in the overall terms of children's healthcare, while Oklahoma took the bottom spot ranking 51st.

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