December 19, 2014

County health rankings released

A collaboration is out again with its health rankings of counties in Wisconsin. The national research by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute emphasizes 25 factors that, if improved, can help make communities healthier places. 

Those factors include rates of childhood poverty, rates of smoking, obesity levels, and rates of high school graduation and college.

The study found Ozaukee to be the healthiest Wisconsin county and Menominee to be the state’s least healthiest county. Paul Kuehner of the foundation says the two offer sharp contrasts. “Just looking at percentage of children living in poverty, in Menominee it’s 48 percent, in Ozaukee it’s six percent.”

Kuehner says the rankings are meant to spark conversation, something officials in Menominee County are doing. In 2011, he says the tribal government drew from the research and began addressing all of the factors laid out in the rankings.