Kewaunee County recently learned it placed second among the 72 counties in the state in health outcomes in the seventh annual County Health Rankings.
“Kewaunee County has consistently ranked well over the last few years in the statewide county health rankings. Within recent years, we have seen a strong push from our communities to work together to make a positive difference in the health of our county,” said Kewaunee County Public Health Director Cindy Kinnard.
Kinnard said the annual report helps the county focus its efforts on needed initiatives within the community.
“Right now we know we need to continue work in the areas of alcohol usage, mental health, lack of physical activity and nutrition,” Kinnard said. “At the end of 2015 we conducted our Community Health Assessment and last year we initiated our Community Health Improvement Plan. Our focus areas are the four areas I listed above with an overall emphasis on chronic disease management. Mental health is a huge need in our county and the health department is working with our behavioral health unit as well as community partners to improve access to services countywide. We have also partnered with the ADRC (Aging and Disability Resource Center) of the Lakeshore and several other community partners to form a Dementia Friendly Coalition. We have recently partnered with human services and law enforcement to initiate a Drug Endangered Child Program within our public school systems and increased community awareness to trauma informed care. We are also working with community partners to bring increased drug disposal sites to the community and promote Parents Who Host Lose the Most. We have a physical activity and nutrition workgroup meeting to try to promote wellness activities across the county.”
The report looks at a variety of data to rank things such as health behaviors and quality of life in each of the 72 counties. Kewaunee County ranked first in length of life, whereas Door County ranked 41 in that category.
Door County, however, outscored Kewaunee County in Quality of Life (7 for Door and 11 for Kewaunee); Health Behaviors (3 for Door and 25 for Kewaunee) and Physical Environment (8 for Door and 10 for Kewaunee). But overall, Door County ranked 26th in health outcomes.
The local level data makes it clear that good health is influenced by many factors beyond medical care including housing, education, jobs, access to healthy foods, and more.
According to the 2017 Rankings, the five healthiest counties in Wisconsin, starting with most healthy, are Ozaukee County, followed by Kewaunee County, St. Croix County, Taylor County, and Washington County. The five counties in the poorest health, starting with least healthy, are Menominee County, Milwaukee County, Sawyer County, Adams County, and Washburn County.
You can see all the rankings at countyhealthrankings.org.