County Health Rankings - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

County Health Rankings

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WATERLOO (KWWL) - The first county-by-county report on America's health.  The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin ranked the overall health of every county in the nation.  In eastern Iowa, Winneshiek came in at number 2, and Clinton came in at 93. 

One of Bruce Meisinger's first tasks as Black Hawk County Public Health Director will be helping put together a 5-year plan for the county's health needs.  He says the county health rankings will provide a good basis to go forward.

"It basically confirms or reinforces research we had performed within black hawk county health department that shows this community has a close linkage between the relative health to the overall wealth status of our community," said Meisinger.

The findings show Black Hawk County is 71st out of Iowa's 99 counties in health outcomes.  It's 40th in mortality.  88th in morbidity.  Black Hawk County is 3rd in the state in access to and quality of clinical care but 80th in social and economic factors.

"We're probably the most diverse population in the state of Iowa with very severe socioeconomic issues as it relates to income and really contributing to an underutilizations of the health care facilities we do have in our community," said Meisinger.

The rankings give more weight to those social and economic factors.  Meisinger says overcoming obstacles and barriers among diverse populations is the challenge facing the county's health care system.

"It's now fortuitous we have these rankings which will be a centerpiece for the beginning process of our community health needs assessment and our community health needs planning process," said Meisinger.

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Online Anchor/ReporterBob Waters

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