A nationwide report called the "2011 County Health Rankings" was released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The report compares the health of counties in every state across the nation, measured by overall health and factors that influence health.
Of Iowa's 99 counties, the report found that Delaware County ranked highest in overall health, while Johnson County ranked first in factors that influence health. Those factors include healthy behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and physical environment.
"Health assessment and planning is a core function of public health and one of our most important ongoing activities," said Iowa Department of Public Health Director, Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks. "Just this year, all counties in Iowa completed a Community Health Needs Assessment and Health Improvement Plan to help produce a road map for health at the county level for the next five years. At the state level, 2011 also marks the development of Healthy Iowans, our state's five-year plan for promoting and protecting the health of Iowans. These assessments, along with the 2011 County Health Rankings are sure to raise the bar as counties look at developing strategic interventions designed to meet the needs of their communities."
Miller-Meeks added that all assessments--including these rankings--illustrate a clear need for continued public and government support for public health efforts. "I urge Iowans to consider all of the assessment and planning tools available to help them improve the health of their community," Miller-Meeks said.
To learn more, visit www.countyhealthrankings.org. To find out about health assessment and planning efforts done in Iowa at the county and state level, visit www.idph.state.ia.us/chnahip and www.idph.state.ia.us/adper/healthy_iowan....