Winnebago County’s health 77th out of state’s 101 counties
From press release
According to the County Health Rankings report released Wednesday, Feb. 17, Winnebago County ranks in the fourth quartile, 77 out of 101 counties, in the state. The rankings report was compiled by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The report looks at factors that affect people’s overall health within four categories: health behavior, clinical care, social and economic factors, and physical environment. The many health factors studied included: rates of adult smoking, adult obesity, binge drinking, and teen-age pregnancy; the number of uninsured adults, availability of primary care-providers, and preventable hospital stays; rates of high school graduation, number of children in poverty, rates of violent crime, access to healthy foods, air pollution levels, and liquor store density.
Researchers used five measures to assess the level of overall health or “health outcomes” for Winnebago County: the rate of people dying before age 75, the percent of people who report being in fair or poor health, the numbers of days people report being in poor physical and poor mental health, and the rate of low-birth weight infants.
Mike Bacon, Winnebago County Public Health administrator, said.“The report provides a snapshot, not a high-resolution review, of how healthy our residents are by comparing their overall health and the factors that influence their health with other counties in Illinois. It will further remind us that multiple factors contribute to a healthy community. Some factors we each can influence on our own, but many factors are outside our individual control. By improving conditions in our homes, schools, workplaces and community, we can create greater opportunities for our residents to be healthy.”
Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, added: “These rankings demonstrate that health happens where we live, learn, work and play. And much of what influences how healthy we are and how long we live happens outside the doctor’s office. We hope the County Health Rankings spur all sectors—government, business, community and faith-based groups, education and public health—to work together on solutions that address barriers to good health and help all Americans lead healthier lives.”
Bacon said: “This report comes at a time when many sectors in Winnebago and Boone counties are joining forces to undertake a comprehensive community health study through the Rockford Health Council. Partner organizations are commencing a detailed assessment of community health needs and assets and engaging the community in obtaining a broader perspective of community concerns and ideas. This process will provide the foundation for developing a plan of action on established priorities and serve as a call to action for all sectors of the community that health is everyone’s business.”
The County Health Rankings are the first to rank the overall health of the counties in all 50 states—more than 3,000 total—by using a standard formula to measure how healthy people are and how long they live.
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