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For Immediate Release: February 17, 2010

TFAH Praises New County Health Rankings Report

Washington, DC, February 17, 2010 - Trust for America's Health (TFAH) applauded the release of new the County Health Rankings: Mobilizing Action toward Community Health study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Public Health Institute.  The project is the first of its kind to provide rankings of overall health for every county in every state in the country.

"Where you live shouldn't determine how healthy you are.  But, as this study shows, right now in America, where you live, learn, work, and play make a big difference in how healthy you are," said Jeffrey Levi, PhD, Executive Director of TFAH.  "As a result, some communities are much healthier than others."

"These rankings are a groundbreaking advancement for understanding the health across the country, which in turn allows us to develop better strategies to address disparities that exist in communities.  A range of factors, like education, employment, income, family and social support, community safety, and the physical environment, influence how healthy we are.  But in many communities, obstacles also exist that make it hard for people to make healthy choices, and consequently, disease rates are higher in those areas.  The study is a wake up call that we need to address the systemic reasons why some communities are healthier than others.  This project demonstrates the urgent need for the country to invest more to develop policies and programs to remove obstacles that get in the way of making healthy choices possible.  Until we do that, Americans will not be as healthy as they could be or should be," Levi continued.

The County Health Rankings examines how healthy people are, how long they live, and how important factors affect their health, such as tobacco use, obesity, access to healthcare, education, community safety, and air quality.  The rankings are available on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Web site at www.rwjf.org.

Trust for America's Health is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority.

 

Contact

Elle Hogan at 202-223-9870 x 21 or ehogan@tfah.org