The study, called Mobilizing Action Toward Community Health (MATCH), uses data sets collected from numerous sources to rank the health of each Illinois county. The University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute authored the MATCH project with the help of funding provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It ranks Will County the state’s 21st healthiest county.
According to MATCH, Will County ranks 21st best among 102 Illinois counties surveyed in terms of health outcomes, and 19th best in health factors.
The health outcomes ranking is based on an equal weighting of morbidity and mortality measures that influence the length and quality of life. The health factors ranking is derived from an examination of numerous health behaviors, access to clinical care, the quality of clinical care, and physical environment. Social and economic factors were also considered.
The 2015 study documents an improvement of four spots for Will County, which ranked 25th best in the study released March 26, 2014.
Health Department Executive Director John Cicero credits the county’s Mobilizing for Action Through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP) collaborative for providing a framework which enables the community to assess and address critical area health concerns.
“MAPP brings together dozens of community partners who invest their time and talents to ensure that Will County remains one of the state’s healthiest counties,”Mr. Cicero said. “MAPP illustrates that community health is shaped by a wide variety of factors beyond what occurs at our doctor’s office, hospital, or health clinic. Everyone plays a role in community health: educators, business leaders, hospitals, the faith community, elected officials – everyone has some key role to play in order to make the community a healthy place to live, learn, work and play.”
Will is one of six Chicagoland counties listed among the state’s 25 healthiest jurisdictions. Mr. Cicero says public health administrators can utilize data from the health rankings to identify problems and address the most critical health priorities using measurable objectives.
“Every community can point to specific strengths and weaknesses that ultimately influence health,” Mr. Cicero said. “The information contained in studies of this magnitude help develop strategies capable of addressing public health problems that impact all of us.”
The release of the 2015 MATCH study comes less than two weeks prior to National Public Health Week (NPHW). Since 1995, the public health community has celebrated NPHW during the first week each April to draw attention to the need for enhanced public health awareness and funding.
For more information about MATCH, visit www.countyhealthrankings.org. For more information about National Public Health Week, visit www.nphw.org.