County moves up 11 places in state health ranking

Published Mar 16, 2018 at 4:00pm

Oneida County’s health ranking compared to other counties in the state is improving slightly, based on a non-profit organization’s annual ranking of health outcomes and factors.

Oneida County ranked 41st of 62 state counties in health factors, up from 52nd a year ago, and 51st in health outcomes, up from 52nd, the county Health Department announced Wednesday.

Health factors include indicators in the areas of health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors and the physical environment, the county department said. Indicators regarding adult smoking, access to exercise opportunities and the percentage of people who have health insurance improved. Health outcomes, meanwhile, include the length and quality of life.

The rankings were compiled by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

“I am pleased to see that Oneida County’s health rankings have improved this year thanks to the hard work of Director of Health Phyllis Ellis and her dedicated department,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr.

Picente added “the initiatives that have been instituted by the Health Department have had a positive impact on the services we deliver.”

Ellis said “our current initiatives of improving breastfeeding rates and decreasing tobacco use will continue through the Community Health Improvement Plan. Along with this work, the Creating Healthy Schools and Communities program’s focus on obesity and access to healthy foods will continue to address health indicators.”

The county Health Department announcement noted there are numerous organizations and partnerships that play a role in the health and quality of life in a community.

It said the department will continue to work with community partners on a variety of health issues; promote awareness of and monitor emerging issues and trends; and encourage collaborative actions to address them.

The local-level data “makes it clear that good health is influenced by many factors beyond medical care including housing, education and jobs,” the department announcement said.

This year’s report shows that “meaningful gaps in health persist not only by place, but also by race and ethnicity,” the announcement said, adding that with this knowledge “we can continue locally to focus on our identified issues through our Community Health Assessment, including disparities.”

The county health rankings reflect a “snapshot” that compares counties within states and can be used to communicate with a wide range of audiences, the announcement also noted.

The rank of a particular county can be influenced by several factors including how other counties have performed, and it is most useful to look at changes in specific measures over time, the announcement added.

​More information about the report is at www.countyhealthrankings.org online.