Health Disparities Discussion: Comparison of 2 Communities Discussion Post  

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The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program works to improve health outcomes and to close the health disparities between those with the most and least opportunities for good health. Their site provides data, evidence and guidance to build awareness of the multiple factors that influence health and also supports community leaders working to improve health and increase health equity. These rankings are guided by a model of population health that emphasizes the many social, economic, physical, clinical, and other factors that influence both how long and how well we live. These rankings provide a unique opportunity to compare snapshots of the health of nearly every county in all 50 US states.

  1. Go to Explore Health Rankings: org/explore-health-rankings“> This screen should look similar to this (below).
  • Take a minute to explore the 3 listed options
    • Find County Rankings (get a snapshot of a community of interest)
    • Use the Data (guide for using the data)
    • Measures & Data Sources (describes factors that influence health that are used to determine the rankings)
  • Enter a community of interest to you in the Find County Rankings search box.
  • As an example, here I was interested in looking at Laramie, Wyoming. My screen looked like this (below)

The data is grouped by

  • Health outcomes: length of life, quality of life
  • Health factors: health behaviors, clinical care, social & economic factors, physical environment

Take a minute to look at the data. If I click on the show areas of strength tab (option in the green circle, above), the output changes. Now, metrics in which Laramie is doing better are now highlighted in purple (shown in the inset, above). So, for instance, Laramie has a higher ratio of primary care physicians per capita (1,030: 1) compared to top US performers. An area of improvement is flu vaccinations. There are less flu vaccinations (48%) in Laramie compared to top US performers (55%). This number was based on the percentage of fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare enrollees that had an annual flu vaccination in 2018. I got this information by clicking on ‘flu vaccinations’.

  • Now, review the tabs at the top of the screen and click on the Compare Counties tab (in the green circle below). Select another county of interest to you to compare to your selected county. Your screen should look like this (below). Note that you can expand on the Additional Measures button (green arrow, below) to see the full list of metrics.  I compared Laramie, Wyoming to Wicomico County, Maryland. I can see that there are more ‘poor mental health days’ i.e., the average number of mentally unhealthy days reported in past 30 days (age-adjusted), in Wicomico Maryland compared to Laramie, Wyoming.

E.g., University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. County Health Rankings & Roadmaps 2022. [Accessed 6th June 2021].

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Health Disparities Discussion: Comparison of 2 Communities Discussion Post  

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