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Report ranks healthiest communities in Alaska

Juneau, Sitka and Kodiak Island are the healthiest communities in Alaska: Report
Annual rankings show where Alaska regions do well and suggest opportunities for improvement

ANCHORAGEJuneau, Sitka and Kodiak Island rank the healthiest in Alaska, while western Alaska continues to have the poorest health outcomes, according to the fifth annual County Health Rankings, released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI). The Rankings provide county-to-county comparisons within a state.

The County Health Rankings rank the overall health of counties in all 50 states. Alaska’s data are broken out by fourteen boroughs, 10 census areas and the Municipality of Anchorage. An additional four boroughs — Aleutians East, Bristol Bay, Denali, and Yakutat — are not included in the rankings due to their low population counts. The Rankings allow counties to see how well they are doing on 29 factors that influence health, including smoking, high school graduation rates, employment, physical inactivity and access to healthy foods.

According to the 2014 Rankings, the healthiest area in Alaska is Juneau, followed by Sitka, Kodiak Island Borough, Fairbanks North Star Borough and Southeast Fairbanks census area. The areas with the poorest health outcomes are the Bethel, Yukon-Koyukuk, Nome and Wade Hampton census areas, and the Northwest Arctic Borough. The Municipality of Anchorage ranks at 13th for overall health outcomes.

“The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s vision for a culture of health is one where everyone has the opportunity to be healthy,” said Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, RWJF president and CEO. “The County Health Rankings are a starting point for change, helping communities come together, identify priorities, and create solutions that will help all in our diverse society live healthier lives, now and for generations to come.”

The complete report is available at www.countyhealthrankings.org.

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