First-Ever County Health Rankings Offer Health Snapshot in Every State

    • February 16, 2010

The County Health Rankings report is the first project to rank the overall health of every county in every U.S. state. The report, just released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute, also ranks key health factors such as smoking, obesity, pollution levels and number of children living in poverty.

The video features a conversation between Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Patrick Remington, M.D., M.P.H., associate dean for public health at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and director of the County Health Rankings project. Lavizzo-Mourey and Remington discuss how the rankings can be used by multiple stakeholders, including government and business leaders, health officials, and educators—to improve community health.

The video also showcases Juneau County in Wisconsin, which six years ago found itself dead last among all Wisconsin counties in health rankings compiled by the Population Health Institute. Under the direction of health director Barb Theis, the county has since shown key improvements in health delivery, such as a new dental clinic and greater access to prenatal care for women. In the video, Theis explains the steps the county has taken, as well as the work they’ve begun on a health improvement plan that brings together business, education, public health, faith groups and others to focus on preventing health problems from developing in the first place.