How are we doing — and how can we do better? These are perhaps the most basic questions a community can ask regarding the health of its residents. Yet communities have not been given the necessary tools to answer these questions with validated, consistent measures, evidence-based
policies and practices, and incentives for improvement.

In response to this need and with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a project was initiated called Mobilizing Action Toward Community Health (MATCH) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Population Health Institute. This initiative created a logic model to guide their work and demonstrates the principal activities of: 1) producing county health rankings in all 50 states; 2) examining partnerships and organizational models to increase involvement and accountability for population health improvement; and 3) developing incentive models to encourage and reward communities that implement evidence-based programs and policies that improve population health.

It is believed that together these efforts will increase awareness of the multiple determinants of health, promote engagement by a more diverse group of stakeholders, and stimulate development of models that promote evidence based programs and policies—eventually leading to improved health outcomes and reduced health disparities.