EDITORIAL: We’re #1After several years of being ranked No. 2 in Wisconsin, St. Croix County is now No. 1 in the County Health Rankings report for 2012.
After several years of being ranked No. 2 in Wisconsin, St. Croix County is now No. 1 in the County Health Rankings report for 2012.
The annual rankings, which were released late Monday night, are compiled by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
In this year’s report, St. Croix County finally overtook Ozaukee (near Milwaukee) as the state’s healthiest county.
Not that St. Croix County is perfect when it comes to being healthy. The county lags behind many counties in the category of health behaviors (such as excessive drinking and adult obesity) and in the number of primary care physicians per capita.
But the county compares favorably to most other counties when the big picture is evaluated. And the health of local residents is even showing signs of further progress when it comes to healthy living.
One reason for the continued improvement, we think, is wellness efforts promoted in the county and in some communities.
St. Croix County is several years into an initiative called “Healthier Together,” which is working to encourage physical activity and healthy weight levels for county residents. Through after-school programs that offer heart-healthy activities for youngsters and efforts to educate parents about healthy eating, the initiative has made a difference for many families.
Right now the St. Croix County Public Health Department is promoting “10 Weeks to a Healthier Lifestyle,” which challenges local folks to take steps toward better health and wellness. Other new health programs are planned for the future as well.
New Richmond’s Vitality Initiative has been promoting similar wellness and health efforts, but on a smaller scale, for more than a year.
New Richmond’s efforts have received some positive press in recent months, thanks to grassroots partnerships that are helping to make a difference in the community.
Now that we’ve achieved the state’s top ranking, however, there’s no need to take a breath. St. Croix County and the communities within its borders still have work to do.
We encourage everyone to do their part and engage in the conversation about health that is growing in these parts.