Health Rankings Model
Annually, the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program of the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute publishes the County Health Rankings. The local data reported in this section is organized by the Health Rankings Model (1). The Health Rankings Model emphasizes the many factors in population health that, if improved, can help make communities healthier places to live, learn, work, and play. In the Health Rankings Model, the current health status of a community is described as health outcomes, which are ranked by rates of mortality (premature death) and morbidity (chronic diseases). These health outcomes are influenced by health factors in a community, ranked by a calculation of various health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic, and physical environment measures. Health Factors represent what will influence the future health of a community, while health outcomes represent how healthy a community is today (1). There are evidence-based policies and programs that a community can implement to improve health factors and, ultimately, improve its health outcomes. These standard measures facilitate comparisons and benchmarking with similar communities and changes over time. Mason County is compared to two neighboring rural counties – Grays Harbor and Lewis – with similar populations, health factors, and health outcomes.