With a excessive variety of health care choices, low unemployment and a low variety of uninsured residents, Eau Claire County ranks 33rd general out of Wisconsin’s 72 counties on a brand new health research.
The County Health Rankings, compiled by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, take a look at a wide range of components, from atmosphere to job alternatives to leisure choices to close by medical providers. Nearly all the counties in west-central Wisconsin ranked in the highest half of the checklist.
Lieske Giese, Eau Claire city-county public health director, mentioned she likes how the research seems to be at quite a few components in compiling the report.
“Being healthy is caused by a lot of different factors; it’s not just if you don’t smoke or don’t eat well,” Giese mentioned. “We know we have some challenges and significant issues.”
The county climbed two spots from its 35th-place end final 12 months.
“I always hesitate to say we improved,” she mentioned. “We’re staying fairly consistent. There is room for improvement, and the positive is we have a community willing to work on that and wanting to make a change.”
There have been a number of areas the place the county did nicely.
“Our county has a high ratio of health care, mental health and dental providers per person,” Giese famous. “These providers do often provide services to individuals who aren’t Eau Claire County residents.”
Other medical information reveals Eau Claire County is doing above average. For occasion, the teenager delivery charge in Eau Claire County is decrease than the remainder of the state, though it’s triple the speed for Hispanic and black teenagers than their white counterparts.
The county additionally has optimistic screening charges for breast most cancers and flu vaccinations, which is a sign of robust healthcare, she mentioned.
Eau Claire County additionally scored nicely for its low unemployment charge and the variety of adults who’re college-educated, she added.
There are areas for enchancment, notably the rise in untimely deaths, many brought on by drug overdoses, suicides and alcohol-related driving deaths, she mentioned.
“Eau Claire County ranks 69th out of 72 counties for preventable hospital stays,” she mentioned. “This trend is getting worse for our county. This may represent a tendency of patients to overuse hospitals as a main source of care, rather than their primary clinical care for things like asthma and diabetes.”
Another space of concern is the excessive variety of sexually-transmitted infections.
An financial issue that involved Giese is the county got here in 67th in revenue inequality.
“This means a wide gap between those most affluent and least affluent exists in our community,” she mentioned. “The study has shown that gap alone causes challenges.”
Another monetary quantity that involved Giese is that 13 % of county residents have a “severe housing burden,” the place they spend 50 % or extra of their family incomes on housing.
St. Croix County ranked third in the state and greatest in west-central Wisconsin. Kelli Engen, the county’s public health officer, mentioned the county traditionally is in the highest 10, so whereas she was pleased with the excessive end, she wasn’t shocked both.
“We have a lot of health systems involved in healthy programming,” Engen mentioned. “It’s just one set of measures.”
Engen mentioned she likes the rankings as a result of the research seems to be at so many classes.
“Education, income, housing — all of those things matter to our health,” Engen mentioned.
St. Croix County scored nicely due to its wonderful highschool commencement ranks, the low variety of youngsters residing in poverty, and low unemployment.
“Where you live, work and play matters,” she mentioned.
Like Giese, Engen mentioned she was research areas the place they should enhance. She famous that her county additionally has too many circumstances of sexually-transmitted infections.
To see the entire rating checklist, go to countyhealthrankings.org
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