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America's Health Rankings

Supporting States in Improving Health Outcomes

ASTHO, with the support of the United Health Foundation, collaborated to support states in improving health outcomes and ultimately improving their state ranking. This work built on the United Health Foundation’s (UHF’s) America’s Health Rankings:  A Call to Action with selected states supported through a State Learning Collaborative and provided expert technical assistance to improve priority health outcomes. America’s Health Rankings allows us to view selected health outcomes over time (22 years so far). During the past 22 years, United Health Foundation has tracked our nation’s 21.2 percent improvement in overall health. This national success stems from improvements in the reduction of infant mortality, infectious disease, prevalence of smoking, cardiovascular deaths and violent crime, among others. However, success has eluded us in several very significant measures—the rapid increase in the prevalence of obesity and diabetes and the persistently high rate of uninsured population. A dramatic increase in the percentage of children in poverty during the last five years has also suppressed faster improvement in health.

The central goal of ASTHO is to strengthen State/Territorial Public Health Effectiveness in Improving Health Outcomes. The mission and goals at ASTHO are aligned with the action steps needed to improve health in the United States. America’s Health Rankings indicates which states have improved in specific areas over time. This project will investigate how they improve, and create a learning collaborative for state health departments so that they can improve further.

Systems Change in Action

This short video illustrates systems change in action. Systems change includes collaborating across sectors to improve systems at the federal, state and local levels to influence a variety of key levers. View full size »

How State Agencies Use America’s Health Rankings to Drive Change

The following state snapshots illustrate how states translate America’s Health Rankings into action in an effort to drive change.

View state snapshots »

State Learning Collaborative to Improve America’s Health Rankings

ASTHO, with the support of the United Health Foundation (UHF), convened a five states in a learning collaborative aimed at supporting states in improving health outcomes and ultimately improving their state rankings. The five states all focused on different health outcomes and have successfully bolstered public health and primary care partnership and capacity. The following case studies help illustrate how these states successfully enhanced health systems to improve health outcomes.

Arkansas: Mobilizing Partnerships to Decrease Infant Mortality and Diabetes in the Latino Population »

Georgia: Enhancing Access through a State-Wide Telehealth Network »

Kansas: Mobilizing Citizen Volunteers to Promote Physical Activity »

Oklahoma: Accelerating Strategies to Reduce Chronic Conditions among those with Mental Illness »

Rhode Island: Refining a Centralized Referral System to Integrate Primary Care and Community Wellness »

Rhode Island: Using Community Health Network to Increase Access to Chronic Disease Management »

Public Health Heroes

The United Health Foundation (UHF), with the help of ASTHO, has posted a list of public health heroes who serve as examples of the important work public health professionals carry out in our communities and across the United States.

View the public health heroes of 2012 »

Resources

America’s Health Rankings has tracked the health of the nation for the past 22 years, here you can view a comprehensive perspective on how each state is measured.

The Guide to Community Preventive Services, also known as The Community Guide, is a resource for evidence-based Task Force recommendations and findings about what works to improve public health.**

ASTHO’s Evidence-Based Public Health webpage includes tools and resources for states to incorporate evidence-based policies and programs that are proven to improve public health.