UW study ranks Lincoln County 50th in health outcomes, 24th in health factors
By Jalen Maki
Tomahawk Leader Editor
LINCOLN COUNTY – A recent study conducted by County Health Rankings & Roadmaps (CHR&R), a program of the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, found that in 2022, Lincoln County ranked 50th out of the state’s 72 counties in overall health outcomes and 24th in health factors.
“The CHR&R program provides data, evidence, guidance, and examples to build awareness of the multiple factors that influence health and support leaders in growing community power to improve health equity,” CHR&R’s website states. “The Rankings are unique in their ability to measure the health of nearly every county in all 50 states, and are complemented by guidance, tools, and resources designed to accelerate community learning and action.”
CHR&R said it is known for “effectively translating and communicating complex data and evidence-informed policy into accessible models, reports, and products that deepen the understanding of what makes communities healthy and inspires and supports improvement efforts.”
“County Health Rankings & Roadmaps’ work is rooted in a sincere belief in health equity, the idea that everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible,” CHR&R stated.
The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute “advances health and well-being for all by developing and evaluating interventions and promoting evidence-based approaches to policy and practice at the local, state, and national levels,” according to CHR&R’s website.
“The Institute works across the full spectrum of factors that contribute to health and equity,” CHR&R said. “The Institute promotes an exchange of expertise between those in academia and those in the policy and practice arena.”
Lincoln County data
A release from the Lincoln County Health Department (LCHD) said the health outcomes ranking is based on “two types of measures: how long people live and how healthy people feel while living.”
“The ranking for our health outcomes is considered poor in Lincoln County,” LCHD stated. “Contributing factors include premature death, overall number of poor mental and physical health days, as well as low birthweight.”
Lincoln County ranked 24th in health factors. LCHD explained that health factors focus on what influences health, such as health behaviors and clinical care as well as social, economic, and physical environmental factors.
“The County Health Rankings show us where we are doing well and areas that should be further explored to advance health of all Lincoln County residents,” LCHD said. “The rankings also provide an estimate of the future health of the county.”
LCHD said the following areas were identified as strengths for Lincoln County this year:
• Physical activity
• Insured adults
• Preventable hospital stays
• Adult flu vaccination
• High school graduation
• Children in poverty
• Social associations
• Air quality
The following areas were identified as areas the county can further explore and improve on, LCHD said:
• Adult smoking
• Excessive drinking
• Alcohol-impaired driving deaths
• Adults with some post-secondary education
Other local data
According to data from CHR&R, Langlade County ranked 59th in health outcomes and 52nd in health factors.
Oneida County ranked 25th in health outcomes and 19th in health factors.
Price County ranked 47th in health outcomes and 51st in health factors.
Taylor County ranked 10th in health outcomes and 41st in health factors.
Vilas County ranked 66th in health outcomes and 47th in health factors.
Live Well Lincoln
LCHD said those who are looking for ways to get involved and support health in Lincoln County communities can join Live Well Lincoln, a “local partnership aimed at improving the health of Lincoln County.”
“Live Well Lincoln works to mobilize people, organizations, and stakeholders to collaboratively address issues that impact health,” LCHD stated, adding that the partnership focuses on health equity, social determinants of health, mental health, substance use, access to healthy foods and nutrition.
For more information, contact Shelley Hersil, LCHD Health Officer, at 715-536-0307 or [email protected].
For more information about Lincoln County’s 2022 County Health Rankings, visit www.bit.ly/3LsEdfQ.