The study, called Mobilizing Action Toward Community Health (MATCH), has ranked Will County as one of the state’s healthiest counties for the seventh consecutive year. MATCH uses data sets collected from numerous sources to objectively rank the health of all 102 state counties.
The University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute authors the MATCH project with the help of funding provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The study ranks Will County as the state’s 14th healthiest county, and improvement of seven spots over the 2015 MATCH study.
According to MATCH, the county ranks 14th best in terms of health outcomes and 18th in health factors, an improvement of one spot over 2015. Health outcomes are a measure of current community health, and are 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 are also considered.
Will County has improved its overall health ranking by 11 spots since 2014. The county’s overall ranking has never been poorer than 25th.
According to the study (MATCH conducts identical county health rankings in all 50 states), Will County strengths include: length of life, high school graduation rates, low teen birth rates, help for the uninsured, low accidental fatality rate, access to clean drinking water, and a comparatively low number of children living below the poverty line. Areas that could be targeted for improvement include: adult smoking rates, adult obesity, unemployment, housing problems, and preventable hospital stays.
Will County’s Mobilizing Action Through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP) collaborative provides a framework to help the community to assess and address critical area health concerns. MAPP brings together dozens of community partners who are willing to invest their time and talents to insure that Will County remains one of the state’s healthiest jurisdictions.
There will be a free MAPP training for current and prospective members Monday, April 4, at Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet. Current MAPP initiatives include adult obesity and reducing the incidence of preventable hospital stays in Will County.
For more information about MAPP, or to register for the free April 4 training, telephone 815-727-5089, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the MATCH project, visit www.countyhealthrankings.org.