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Nationally, the data revealed that unhealthy counties have more than twice the rate of premature deaths than healthy ones and childhood poverty rates are twice as high in unhealthy counties. The Rankings allow counties to see how they compare to other counties within the state based on a range of factors that influence health including high school graduation rates, obesity, smoking, and family and social support. This year’s Rankings include new measures, such as how many dentists are in a community per resident.
“Statewide, we know that we have major improvements to make in infant mortality, childhood immunizations, obesity and smoking,” said State Health Commissioner William VanNess, M.D.
“The annual County Health Rankings provide us with an additional data set to show exactly where Indiana communities are struggling, as well as providing resources to assist them with their improvement plans.”
The Rankings include a snapshot of each county in the state with a color-coded map comparing each county’s overall health ranking. There are also new county-level trend graphs detailing change over time for several of the measures, including children in poverty, unemployment and quality of care.
“We all have a stake in creating a healthier community and no single sector alone can tackle the health challenges in any given community,” said Patrick Remington, M.D., MPH, professor and associate dean at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. “Collaboration is critical. The Rankings are sparking action all over the country as people from all sectors join forces to create new possibilities in health—county by county.”
According to this year’s Rankings, the 10 healthiest Indiana counties based on health outcomes are: Hamilton, Hendricks, Boone, Dubois, LaGrange, Wells, Brown, Tippecanoe, Whitley and Putnam. The 10 counties with the lowest health outcomes are: Lawrence, Vermillion, Sullivan, Orange, Jennings, Starke, Blackford, Fayette, Crawford and Scott. For more about information or to view the report, visit www.countyhealthrankings.org.
Last year, the Indiana State Department of Health, Indiana Hospital Association, and the Indiana Business Research Center launched the Indiana INdicators website (www.IndianaIndicators.org). This free data resource is available to help Indiana communities perform community health needs assessments, guide the development of community improvement plans and much more. IndianaINdicators.org provides the most current Indiana health-related data and information at the state and local levels in an easy to search and sort format and can be used as a supplement to the annual County Health Rankings information.
About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable, and timely change. For 40 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter (@RWJF) and Facebook (facebook.com/RobertWoodJohnsonFoundation).
About the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute
The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute is the focal point within the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health for translating public health and health policy research into policy and practice. The Institute strives to:
· Address a broad range of real-world problems of topical importance to government, business, providers and the public;
· Promote partnerships of inquiry between researchers and users of research, breaking down barriers between the academic community and public and private sector policy makers;
· Make useful contributions to public health and health policy decisions that improve the health of the public. For more information, visit http://uwphi.pophealth.wisc.edu/.
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