Vital signs: Taking Buncombe County’s pulse

In less than 10 minutes, a doctor or nurse can get a read on a patient’s overall health and well-being just by checking a few key indicators: pulse, blood pressure, temperature and respiration rate. But how do you assess an entire community’s vital signs? And if you don’t, how will you know what the biggest problems are and how best to allocate scarce resources? (cover design by Emily Busey)