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Health rankings have Johnson County at the top, Wyandotte near the bottom

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Johnson County is the healthiest county in Kansas while Wyandotte is again near the bottom at 96th out of 98 counties ranked.

The report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation looked at everything from smoking and graduation rates to physical activity and access to nutritious food. To find the rankings for Kansas counties click here.

Nodaway County is the healthiest in Missouri. For Missouri counties, click here.
The head of Wyandotte County government has a plan to make the heart of Kansas City, Kansas, healthier. Mark Holland, Mayor and CEO of the Unified Government, envisions much more at Big Eleven Lake than geese peacefully swimming. He wants a healthy campus surrounding the lake which is near downtown.

"It's the intersection between our business corridor and our residential," said Holland.

The Unified Government is working with a developer interested in building a grocery store just south of the lake. And to the east, the mayor wants a larger comunity center built around a center that's already there. It would be a partnership with the YMCA whose current building downtown is a hundred years old. The "Y" will soon get active raising six million dollars to match money the government has already earmarked.

"I think it encompasses everything we stand for and believe in the YMCA to support individuals in their health journey," said Michael Farris of the 8th Street YMCA.

Mayor Holland says the healthy campus could also include health care, more green space and new housing.

"A grocery store is the kind of amenity that people want to live around. People would want to stay here or they would want to move here," said Holland.

The campus is another step in the "Healthy Communities Wyandotte" initiative that started after it was named the least healthy county in Kansas in the 2009 rankings. It's still near the bottom in the 2014 rankings.

"It took 50 years to get to this point and it's gonna take a generation to move the needle all the way back to where we need to be," said Holland.

He knows it will take more than new buildings, but he believes the campus can be the heart of a healthier Wyandotte.

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