Source: Health Policy Institute of Ohio and American Academy of Family Physicians
The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) released the latest edition of the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps on March 15 (Source: “Wealth Means Health in Ohio Rankings,” The Columbus Dispatch via Canton Repository, March 15, 2018).
Once again the counties rated the healthiest in Ohio were also among the state’s most affluent. Delaware County was the healthiest county in Ohio in 2017, a title it has held for eight of the nine years that the rankings have been issued.
Four of the five healthiest counties are affluent suburban areas. The bottom five, with Adams ranked the lowest at No. 88, are among Ohio’s most impoverished Appalachian counties. In a statement accompanying the release of the national report Wednesday, RWJF’s president acknowledged the clear link between poverty, other social factors and poor health outcomes.
“We can’t be a healthy, thriving nation if we continue to leave entire communities and populations behind,” said Dr. Richard Besser, RWJF’s president and CEO.
This year’s report also shows that gaps in health persist not only based on geography, but also by race and ethnicity. HPIO recently launched a new resource page on health equity. The web page is the first in a series of health equity products that HPIO, through support from County Health Rankings and Roadmaps, will be releasing throughout 2018 to bridge the gap in knowledge and understanding of the issue.
The American Academy of Family Physicians has a long history of supporting health equity and reducing health disparities in patient care. In fact, one of the key strategic objectives of the AAFP is to “take a leadership role in addressing diversity and social determinants of health as they impact individuals, families, and communities across the lifespan and to strive for health equity.”
In keeping with that history and those strategic objectives, the AAFP has launched the Center for Diversity and Health Equity. The center was created to provide opportunities for the AAFP to become a more thoughtful and visible leader for diversity and health equity.