on march 30 at 2 pm ET, county health rankings, a joint project between the robert wood johnson foundation (RWJF) and the university of wisconsin population health institute (UWPHI), will host a tweet chat about the release of the 2011 county health rankings. i had a chance to talk with bridget booske, deputy director of the county health rankings and senior scientist at UWPHI, to learn a bit more about the project and the chat.
fm: what is the county health rankings project?
bb: it’s a call to action to work together to develop programs and policies that address the multiple influences on health. it shows us that where we live, learn, work and play matters to our health. it stimulates discussion and action within communities, regardless of where a county ranks, and it reminds us that everyone—from public health leaders to businesses to government—has a role to play in improving the health of our community.
fm: what value does this project offer businesses?
bb: the rankings project offers businesses a great opportunity to work with other community leaders to improve health. businesses can see what the health barriers are in their community and actively engage people in health, education, transportation and other fields to come up with policies and programs to lift those barriers. as this editorial outlines, employers can use this data to inform their health and wellness design, from offering carpool incentives to bringing a weekly farmers market to the workplace.
fm: what will you cover in wednesday’s tweet chat?
bb: the tweet chat will be an opportunity for people to ask questions about the rankings and get answers from the program co-partners. dr. risa lavizzo-mourey, the president and CEO of the robert wood johnson foundation, and dr. patrick remington, the associate dean for public health at the university of wisconsin school of medicine and public health and project director for the rankings, will be answering questions.
fm: where can businesses go for more information?
bb: businesses can go to the county health rankings website. when they go there, they can find information on what businesses can do to improve health under “action steps.”