Boone County Health Ratings Improve in 2013

BOONE COUNTY (WIFR) -- In 2013 Boone County moved up to the 28th healthiest county out of 102 counties in Illinois, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute annual County Health Rankings. Nearly every county in the country is ranked on health outcomes (how healthy we are) and on health factors (how healthy we can be).

“Boone County improved in the overall health ranking, up from 40th in 2012. This year’s ranking recognizes our successes and identifies opportunities for improvement in the health of our county’s residents. This information helps us see where we are doing well and where improvement is needed to ensure that our community is a healthy place to live, learn, work and play,” said Cynthia Frank, Boone County Health Department Administrator.

“While we are aware these rankings are only a snapshot in time and not a complete picture of Boone County’s health, we do take them seriously,” Frank says. “We’ll use the rankings in conjunction with other community health assessments and planning efforts to help us find the best ways to build on our success and address our challenges. The two areas of greatest concern are adult obesity and physical inactivity.”

Parts of the County Health Rankings highlight areas that could use improvement in order to achieve better Health Outcomes. Below are some areas Boone County needs to address:

•Adult obesity – 30% in Boone County; national benchmark: 25%
•Physical Inactivity – 26% in Boone County; national benchmark: 21%
•Adult smoking – 16% in Boone County: national benchmark: 13%

Key measures of Social and Economic impact on health, as well as Environmental measures, are also identified in the County Health Rankings. Some interesting measures included:
•Boone County’s unemployment was at 13.5% at the time of the study, compared to 9.8% in
Illinois.
•Uninsured in Boone County was 14%, compared to 16% in Illinois.
•College education was 48% in Boone County, compared to 66% in Illinois.

“The rankings illustrate what we know when it comes to what’s making people sick or healthy. So much of what influences our health happens outside the doctor’s office. We are happy to see that Boone County is moving in the right direction,” Frank says.

To learn more about the County Health Rankings visit www.countyhealthrankings.org.


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