A new report shows much room for improvement in Wisconsin’s health. The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute gives Wisconsin a grade of B- for overall health, but no better than a C for those without a high school education and for African Americans and Native Americans.
Wisconsin’s health is falling behind other states since the first Health of Wisconsin Report Card was released a decade ago. “We used to be sixth healthiest in the nation in 1992,” notes the UW’s Dr. Patrick Remington. “We dropped to 11th in 2006, and this year we’re ranked 20th.”
Wisconsin’s progress in improving health and eliminating health disparities, and to catalyze discussion and action to achieve longer, healthier lives for all.
“Obviously, we need to move from discussion to action if we’re going to stop Wisconsin’s race to the bottom of state health rankings. Improving our quality of life and economic progress depend on it,” Remington said.
While America’s Health State Rankings gives an overall state numerical rank, Remington says it’s important to look at the details, especially the underlying gaps in health, as noted in the Report Card, for different groups of people within the state.
“We know that reaching the goal of longer, healthier lives for all requires us to focus on creating opportunities for health not only in medical care but also in the social, behavioral, and environmental factors that influence health – and that can improve these grades,” said Remington.