Lincoln County ranks among the less healthy counties in the state, according to the annual County Health Rankings released last week by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). The Rankings are available at www.countyhealthrankings.org.
The County Health Rankings rank the overall health of nearly every county in all 50 states. TheRankings allow counties to see how well they are doing on 29 factors that influence health, including smoking, high school graduation rates, employment, physical inactivity, and access to healthy foods.
According to the 2014 Rankings, the five healthiest counties in Wisconsin, starting with the most healthy, are Ozaukee, followed by Kewaunee, Portage, Taylor, and Door. The five counties in the poorest health, starting with the least healthy, are Menominee, Milwaukee, Adams, Marquette, and Forest.
“The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s vision for a culture of health is one where everyone has the opportunity to be healthy,” said Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, RWJF president and CEO. “The County Health Rankings are a starting point for change, helping communities come together, identify priorities, and create solutions that will help all in our diverse society live healthier lives, now and for generations to come.”
The Rankings provide county-to-county comparisons within a state. Nationally, this year’sRankings show that people living in the least healthy counties are twice as likely to have shorter lives as people living in the healthiest counties. Unhealthy counties also have twice as many children living in poverty and twice as many teen births as the healthiest counties. This year’s Rankings also feature several new measures including housing, transportation, and access to mental health providers.
Lincoln County ranks in the bottom quarter for health outcomes (58) and near the middle for health factors (41). Lincoln ranks in the top half of Wisconsin counties for clinical care (25) and physical environment (19), and near the middle for health behaviors (42). Lincoln County ranks in the bottom half for social and economic factors (52).
The County Health Rankings are part of the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. The program includes the Roadmaps to Health Action Center which provides local leaders with tools, step-by-step guides, and stories to help communities identify and implement solutions that make it easier for people to live healthy lives. The program also includes the annual RWJF Culture of Health Prize, which celebrates communities that are harnessing the collective power of leaders, partners, and stakeholders to build a culture of health. This year’s prize winners and the call for 2014-2015 prize applications will be announced in June at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Spotlight: Health.
The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute is part of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.