Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) -  Olmsted County has retained its number one spot in this year’s health ranking of counties in Minnesota.

The annual ranking by the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation looks at data in two categories:  health factors and health outcomes.

The Health Factors category includes health, social and economic factors such as income, education, obesity, smoking, clinical care and environmental issues. The study uses the various health factors to determine how healthy a county will be in the future. Olmsted County remained at the top of that category.

The study defines Health Outcomes as the current health of a county. Olmsted was ranked 15 in that category, up two spots from last year.

This is the 6th year of the study.

The Olmsted County Public Health Services released a statement on the study.

“This report shows us that where we live, work, learn and play matters to health,” says Pete Giesen, Director of Olmsted County Public Health Services.  “We are fortunate to live in a state and community that has recognized the need to invest in upstream solutions to improve health of all.”

The report ranks both health outcomes (tomorrow’s health) and health factors (today’s health) in order to highlight the wide array of issues that determine health in local communities. The Rankings also remind us that there are many factors beyond medical care that influence health. Health is everyone’s business, including employers, educators, health professionals, elected officials, and urban planners, so all stakeholders in a community need to work together to improve the health of residents.

The rankings, along with the Community Health Needs Assessment data and community surveys are used to help determine the priority health needs for our residents. This information allows community partners to work together, combine and share resources, and develop sustainable, systemic changes that will benefit the health of our residents and visitors.

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