County Health Rankings show mixed results for Rock County

Leslie Hanson
March 14, 2018

The least healthy county is Fayette, followed by Scott, Grant, Madison and Crawford, according to the report.

New health rankings released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The real value in the ranking is to give county health officials and leaders the health measures needed to plan broad-based public health strategies, she said.

The county made that jump with only nine of the 30 measures improving. Chlamydia is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted disease.

While both STIs and teen births have decreased in Holmes, the county still has a higher per capita infection rate than other counties and a higher rate of teen births.

Axler says the rankings are used to help identify gaps in service and address barriers to health care.

Waseca County saw an increase in problems within the county's public health factors, though it still ranks highly in health outcomes.

Pennsylvania counties range from 4 to 11 percent of babies born with low birth weight, the report says.

For Allen County, this year's showing in the annual Robert Wood Johnson Foundation county health rankings is a mixed bag. "For example, in some of the lower-performing counties in MS, the children poverty rate is very high, there's a very low median household income, and that usually correlates to access to health care in terms of providing better health outcomes in the long run". County health departments, parent-teacher organizations, hospitals, health care providers and nonprofits are just some of the groups that can benefit from data and resources.

Nicollet County public health focused much of its time and energy on improving the environment for health, as part of SHIP.

Census data supports the correlation: The median income in Rankin is $59,370, while in Holmes it's $20,800, the lowest in the state.

Karen Matthews, president and CEO of Delta Health Alliance, said her organization is aware of the issues the report highlights in the Delta.

62 counties for access to care and quality of care. The Rankings examine dozens of factors that influence health including (but not limited to) rates of premature death, smoking, obesity levels, childhood poverty, access to healthy foods, levels of physical activities and rates of high school graduation and college attendance.

New this year, the report shows racial and ethnic disparities for a few select categories - "that information is quite hard to obtain", Pezzino said. "Most likely, the change is about what happened in the state overall, rather than what our individual county did". Nearly all of these patients are African American.

The county performed best in clinical care, ranking 29th, with improvements in the uninsured, and the number of dentists and mental health providers. In DeSoto, for instance, 7 percent of white births had a low birthweight while the rate was 13 for black births.

"That is significant and an area of concern because we know that is a forecast of those children's future if they're growing up in poverty", Jerome said. Cumberland County is last among the Garden State's 21 counties.

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