The new release of the County Health Rankings is terrific. It’s very easy to use … and it prompts one to ask just what is the cause for the differences between health status in these counties – and more importantly, what can we do to improve health?
We in the National Center for Health Statistics are pleased and proud to be working with our colleagues in Wisconsin at Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Jonson Foundation on this effort. We’ve linked the effort to our work on the Health Indicators Warehouse (http://healthindicators.gov/) and in the future we’ll draw from that database to provide data to the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute who put the rankings together.
This partnership is important — but even more important are partnerships to share and apply information on how to improve health. It’ll be not only fascinating, but critically important to our Nation to track these health measures over time. Our health professionals and the public will use this data to inform and educate. The data can help to evaluate efforts to improve our health and make changes where some methods are found to be more effective than others. We are, of course, a very diverse nation and it’s clear that what may be effective in one area of the country may not resonate in others.
It’s important that we who are involved in these efforts hear from you – please share your information, critiques and guidance and join with others across the country in comparing and contrasting the data and using this valuable information source to improve health. We’ll all be the better for it.
Director, National Center for Health Statistics