Dane County near top of state health rankings

Dane County near top of state health rankings

Dane County is ranked seventh out of 72 counties for health outcomes, according to the annual County Health Rankings released Wednesday.

The rankings measure 30 factors that influence health including education, housing, jobs, smoking and access to healthy food.

In Dane County, adult smoking rates are lowest in the state, and the number of young children fully immunized is better than the state average. However, Dane County ranks higher for the number of chlamydia cases and the number of older adults dying from falls.

Public Health Madison and Dane County said it recently added a disease intervention specialist to increase outreach and education to lower the county’s rates of sexually transmitted infections.

“Here in Dane County, our overall health ranking of seventh is good, but when we look closely at the data, we see substantial pockets of poor health conditions and outcomes for a number of our residents,” Janel Heinrich, Director of Public Health Madison & Dane County, said.

“Many factors cause these conditions and outcomes, including economic instability, racism and discrimination, and unequal access to educational opportunities and health care services,” she said. “Acknowledging these factors, moving past our surface ranking, and digging into the wealth of data available to us is how we will make our community healthier.”

The top five ranked counties in Wisconsin are Ozaukee, Kewaunee, St. Croix, Taylor and Washington. The five counties in poorest health, starting with least healthy, are Menominee, Milwaukee, Sawyer, Adams and Washburn.

Here’s how other local counties ranked:

Sauk: 36
Columbia: 30
Dodge: 26
Jefferson: 13
Rock: 62
Green: 12
Lafayette: 43
Iowa: 23
Grant: 33