Today, the Public Health Bugle and many other health organizations, media outlets, academic institutions attended a conference call to launch this years “Health Country Rankings.” Below is the press release explaining what these rankings are and how they affect us all. I will publish the recording of today’s conference call answer/question session in the near future. Also, HERE was last year’s exclusive interview.
--Healthiest and Least Healthy Counties Ranked in Every State–
(source: County Health Rankings, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the University of Wisconsin)
2012 County Health Rankings Show What Influences How Healthy Residents Are, How Long They Live
Madison, WI and Princeton, NJ (April 3, 2012) – More than 3,000 counties and the District of Columbia can compare how healthy their residents are and how long they live with the 2012 County Health Rankings, released today. The Rankings are an annual check-up that highlights the healthiest and least healthy counties in every state, as well as those factors that influence health, outside of the doctor’s office. The Rankings highlight the importance of critical factors such as education rates, income levels, and access to healthy foods, as well as access to medical care, in influencing how long and how well people live. Now in their third year, the Rankings are increasingly being used by community leaders to help them identify challenges and take action in a variety of ways to improve residents’ health.
Published on-line at www.countyhealthrankings.org by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the Rankings assess the overall health of nearly every county in all 50 states, using a standard way to measure how healthy people are and how long they live. The Rankings consider factors that affect people’s health within four categories: health behavior, clinical care, social and economic factors, and physical environment. This year’s Rankings include several new measures, such as how many fast food restaurants are in a county and levels of physical inactivity among residents. Graphs illustrating premature death trends over 10 years are new as well.
“The County Health Rankings show us that much of what influences our health happens outside of the doctor’s office. In fact, where we live, learn, work and play has a big role in determining how healthy we are and how long we live,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., president and CEO of RWJF. “The good news is that businesses, health care providers, government, consumers and community leaders are already joining forces in communities across the nation to change some of the gaps that the Rankings highlight.”
The Rankings show that, within states and across the nation, there are big differences in health and the factors that influence health.