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The United Health Foundation,

Along with our partner the American Public Health Association, is pleased to present the 26th edition of the America’s Health Rankings® Annual Report: A Call to Action for Individuals and Their Communities. First published in 1990, the Annual Report provides the longest-running state-by-state analysis of factors affecting the health of individuals and communities across America. It delivers an in-depth, trusted view into the status of America’s health that has been used by state and local public health leaders across the country to inform state health priorities and help transform health systems.
The Annual Report would not be possible without the collaboration, guidance, and expertise of our Scientific Advisory Committee. The committee is comprised of leading public health scholars and led by Anna Schenck, PhD, MSPH, Director of the Public Health Leadership Program and North Carolina Institute for Public Health at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health. The committee regularly reviews, discusses, and modifies the methodological framework used to ensure that the Annual Report meets the most rigorous statistical standards and accurately reflects the state of our nation’s health.
The 2015 America’s Health Rankings® Annual Report shows improvements in preventable hospitalizations, decreases in cigarette smoking, and increases in immunizations among children—all marking progress in some of our public health challenges. However, these gains are set against a backdrop where different and complex health challenges are compromising our nation’s health. The rates of drug deaths, diabetes, obesity, and children living in poverty are currently on the rise.
I am pleased to announce that in 2016, the United Health Foundation will build upon the successes of America’s Health Rankings® by introducing a robust new suite of reports that use data and insights from the Annual Report as a foundation. We will release reports examining the health of mothers and children as well as our nation’s veteran population; these will complement the existing Annual Report and America’s Health Rankings® Senior Report. We will also issue new “spotlight” reports in 2016 that examine important markers of our nation’s public health, such as substance abuse, prevention, healthy lifestyles, and mental health. Taken together, this new set of America’s Health Rankings® reports will create deeper insights that can inform stakeholders as they work to improve the health of our nation.
As America’s Health Rankings® expands its focus, we at the United Health Foundation invite public health officials, thought leaders, and stakeholders from across society, business, health, and government to share their perspectives on the reports through social media such as Facebook and Twitter and through our website. We also encourage you to share ideas or programs that have made a difference in your community by emailing AHR@uhg.com.
On behalf of my colleagues, we thank Reed Tuckson, MD, Rhonda Randall, DO, and Russ Bennett for their ongoing commitment and collaboration in the dissemination of the America’s Health Rankings® Annual Report.
The United Health Foundation also acknowledges the following agencies and organizations for providing data that make this Annual Report possible.
The 2015 America’s Health Rankings® Annual Report shows improvements in preventable hospitalizations, decreases in cigarette smoking, and increases in immunizations among children and adolescents—all marking progress in some of our public health challenges.
Our thanks to the US Department of Health and Human Services (CDC), US Department of Commerce (CB, BEA), US Department of Education (NCES), US Department of Justice (FBI), US Department of Labor (BLS), US Environmental Protection Agency, American Dental Association, American Medical Association, Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care, Trust for America’s Health, World Health Organization, and the many others who provided valuable information about our nation’s health.
Finally, at the United Health Foundation, we are especially grateful for America’s health care workers, policy makers, and public health professionals who work to improve our nation’s health. Thanks to their tireless efforts in communities across the country, we are better prepared to address the public health changes of today and tomorrow. They deserve our deepest appreciation.
Chris Stidman
President, United Health Foundation

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