County sixth healthiest in state

From local sources

Dubois County is ranked as the sixth healthiest county in Indiana, according to a new report released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

The 2014 County Health Rankings are a collection of 50 reports that reflect the overall health of counties in every state across the country. Annually, counties receive a snapshot of how healthy their residents are by comparing their overall health and the factors that influence their health with other counties in their state.

“Health happens where we live, learn, work and play. This report is important because it helps us identify factors that are affecting our residents and understand how we compare to other counties in the state,” said Donna Oeding, Dubois County Health Department Administrative Director.  “Our high ranking in this report helps us identify areas where we have succeeded in our county and where we still need to do more. With this knowledge, we can take steps to improve health in Dubois County.”

The health outcomes ranking is based on measures of mortality and morbidity. The health factors ranking is based on four factors: health behaviors, such as diet and exercise, clinical care, social and economic, including education, employment, income and community safety, and physical environmental factors.

“If you look at all the measures in the report, it becomes very obvious there are many different players in the overall public health in Dubois County,” Oeding said.  “We will continue to work with our partners to maintain and improve our high county ranking for years to come.  Everyone has a stake in community health. We all need to work together to find solutions. Dubois County continues to be a leader in these types of collaborations.”

Oeding cited the Dubois County Public Health Partnership as an example of this collaboration. This group was formed to assure the healthcare and public health services that best serve the needs of the population are provided. Members of the Partnership include Memorial Hospital, TRI-CAP, Generations, Southern Hills, all county school corporations, VUJC, Kimball International, OFS Brands, Wabash Valley Produce, Jasper Engines and Transmissions, Crisis Connection, Purdue Extension, government officials and the Dubois County Health Department.

“The County Health Rankings are a valuable resource for our local health departments as we prepare for national public health accreditation,” Oeding said.  “We have used a portion of this data to help develop the community health assessment, which was recently completed in collaboration with Memorial Hospital.”

Public health accreditation is a national program for state, local, territorial and tribal public health departments. The goal of the accreditation program is to improve and protect the health of every community by advancing the quality and performance of public health departments.

Dubois County ranks only behind Hamilton, Hendricks, Boone, LaGrange and Brown counties, respectively, in the report.




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