America’s Health Rankings, published annually for the last 28 years, tracks progress the states and nation have been making on key measures covering behaviors, community and environment, policy, clinical care, and outcomes data. The 2017 report, just published, benchmarks Iowa with other states and the nation. The publication is especially helpful to organizations and advisory groups that contribute to Healthy Iowans 2017-2021: Iowa’s Health Improvement Plan along with many others committed to improving health outcomes for all Iowans.
A number of measures are standouts for progress among the states. Iowa has a low drug death rate, low percentage of uninsured population and low infant mortality rate. Iowa is ranked number 1 in percent of students graduating from high school in four years.
The report singles out three challenges—obesity, excessive drinking, and the lower number of mental health providers. These critical issues are very similar to the ones identified in a comprehensive needs assessment that laid the foundation for the Iowa health improvement plan. These issues were No. 1: obesity, nutrition, physical activity; No. 2: mental health, illness, & suicide; No. 3: substance abuse (alcohol & binge drinking, prescription, illegal & other drugs).
To read the entire health rankings report, visit: America’s Health Rankings. The Iowa state summary is on p. 123. Questions? Comments? Contact Louise.Lex@idph.iowa.gov or call (515) 281-4348.