Wisconsin county health rankings are out. The rankings are a joint project of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, where Karen Timberlake is director.
“Health – how long we live, how well we live, is really influenced by where we live, learn, work and play, and it is about many, many factors that go well beyond do we have health insurance and can we get to see a doctor when we need,” Timberlake said.
The two sets of rankings include health outcomes. “So, today in any given county, how long are people living, and how do they feel while they’re alive? We look at a number of different data sources that help us get a picture of how long people are living and how they’re feeling when they’re alive, in every county,” said Timberlake.
The second set of rankings are health factors. “These are all the things that are in the catagories of health behaviors. Smoking and drinking, clinical care, access to health insurance and to doctors and dentists and mental health providers. Social and economic factors such as education and employment, and that whole section actually gets the greatest weight in our overall ranking methodology,” Timberlake said.
Once again this year, Ozaukee County is first among the state’s 72 counties, and Menominee is last.