FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 6, 2012

Statement from Secretary Dennis G. Smith Regarding County Health Rankings

MADISON-Department of Health Services Secretary Dennis G. Smith, today offered the following statement regarding the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps project released this week by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation:

"The Wisconsin Population Health Institute deserves our thanks for its work in making this information available to the public and everyone involved in improving the health of the citizens of Wisconsin. We know there will always be challenges and additional work to do, and these rankings give the state Division of Public Health and local public health professionals a tool to facilitate conversations about improving Wisconsin's Health.

The County Health Rankings project is also an important reminder that ultimately, health is a personal and local issue. The rankings should be viewed as both encouragement and a challenge. As such, public programs should be designed with sufficient flexibility to address priority issues that indeed can vary at the local level."

The County Health Rankings are available for every Wisconsin county at: www.countyhealthrankings.org.