Using County Health Rankings to Assess Population Health

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The recently released 2010 County Health Rankings represent a useful tool for public health professionals in addressing local population health issues. These rankings, which were developed by researchers at the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, are based on a model of population health improvement in which measures of health outcomes are used to describe the current health status of most counties in the US. Each county receives two primary ranks-one for health outcomes and one for health factors, with highest ranks judged as "healthiest."

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