We love rankings and we use them in our everyday lives. They tell us where our favorite sports teams stand compared to the competition. They give us guidance on the best places to live and eat as well as the most reliable cars and appliances to buy. They can also tell us a lot about our health and well-being.
The Kansas Health Institute hopes to stimulate an ongoing discussion about the health of Kansans and the powerful factors that influence it with this project, “Kansas County Health Rankings 2009.”
We ranked all 105 counties based on a summary measure of the health of their residents. This health index is calculated by analyzing two sets of indicators — health determinants and health outcomes. Health outcomes are those things that describe how healthy we are as a population at a given moment. Health determinants are those things that influence health outcomes.
The goal of this project is to stimulate discussion and action by individuals, communities, policymakers, health care providers and public health officials to improve the health of their communities.