National health survey ranks St. Croix County tops in stateSt. Croix residents are among the healthiest in Wisconsin, in fact ranked No. 1, according to the 2012 County Health Rankings released April 3 by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
St. Croix residents are among the healthiest in Wisconsin, in fact ranked No. 1, according to the 2012 County Health Rankings released April 3 by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The County Health Rankings rank the overall health of nearly every county in all 50 states using a standard way to measure how healthy people are and how long they live. Wisconsin’s five healthiest counties are St. Croix, Ozaukee, Taylor, Iowa, and Vernon. St. Croix County neighbors, Pierce and Polk counties, ranked eighth and 30th respectively out of 72 counties.
“The rankings remind us that there is a lot more to health than health care alone. Where we live, learn, work, and play matters to our health,” said Dr. Patrick Remington, associate dean for public health at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. “This annual county health check-up is bringing local leaders together to identify where they are doing well and where they should take action to get better. It’s hard to live a healthy life if you live in an unhealthy place.”
The Rankings, available at www.countyhealthrankings.org, include a snapshot of each county in Wisconsin. University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute researchers used five measures to assess the level of overall health for each county: premature death, the percent of people who report being in fair or poor health, the number of days people report being in poor physical and poor mental health, and the rate of low birth-weight infants.
The rankings also outline the factors that contribute to a community’s health within four categories: health behavior, clinical care, social and economic factors, and physical environment.
Despite the fact that St. Croix County ranks high in health factors (#9) and health outcomes (#1) – out of 72 counties and residents’ report general “good health”, there continues to be room for improvement.
“While we are very pleased with the results for Saint Croix County residents and recognize the efforts of many community partners, we will also review the newest rankings to identify opportunities for future successes and future planning,” said St. Croix County Health Officer Wendy Kramer. “Our current local community health improvement efforts are focused on the issues of obesity and lack of physical activity, adequate and appropriate nutrition, alcohol and substance use, tobacco and access to healthcare (medical, dental, and mental health services).”
If you, your business or organization are interested in partnering with Healthier Together-St. Croix County to help fund initiatives and advance the county-wide community health improvement plan, especially if interested in starting a community garden, evolving the farm to school program or farmers markets, or working to increase access to dental, mental health, and tobacco cessation services, contact Karen Hansen at (715) 531-6056 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
See the full story in the April 12, 2012 print edition of the Hudson Star-Observer.