NACCHO Statement on University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation <em>County Health Rankings </em>
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 2/17/10
NACCHO Statement on University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation <em>County Health Rankings</em>
Washington, DC (February 17, 2010)—
Today's release of the County Health Rankings—the first set of reports to rank the overall health of every county in all 50 states by the University of Wisconsin's Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation provides counties with a useful set of comparative metrics which have the potential to stimulate action nationwide. The Rankings highlight the need for people and organizations from all sectors of each county—public, private, educational, non-profit, media or philanthropic—to work deliberately and collaboratively to improve the public's health through policies, programs, and services.
"The good work that local health departments do notwithstanding, no organization can improve the health of the community it serves singlehandedly," said Robert M. Pestronk, executive director of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), "Whether at the top of the list or the bottom, groups of people in any County are not as healthy as they could be." The County Health Rankings illustrate the impact that factors such as access to education and income have on the public's health. They underscore the need for effective partnerships between other sectors of the community and their local health department.
NACCHO commends the release of the 50 state reports. The reports rank each county within its state on how healthy people are and how long they live. Counties are also are ranked on key factors that affect health such as: smoking, obesity, binge drinking, access to primary care providers, rates of high school graduation, rates of violent crime, air pollution levels, liquor store density, unemployment rates and number of children living in poverty.
The Rankings, available at www.countyhealthrankings.org, include snapshots of U.S. counties that compare each county's overall health with other counties in each of the 50 states. Researchers used the latest data available for each county, ranging from 2000 to 2008.About the National Association of County and City Health Officials
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) represents the nation's 2,800 local governmental health departments. These city, county, metropolitan, district and tribal departments work every day to protect and promote health and well-being for all people in their communities.