TULSA, OK – [March 14, 2018] – Tulsa Health Department is pleased to share that Tulsa County is now ranked #15 out of the 77 counties in the state of Oklahoma, according to the ninth annual County Health Rankings, released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI).
These ratings give a snapshot that compares counties within states to show that where you live influences how well and how long you live. The local-level data make it clear that good health is influenced by many factors beyond medical care including housing, education and jobs. THD has monitored these rankings and has noticed an improved trend. In 2011, Tulsa County was ranked at #27.
“We are continuing to make strides forward,” said THD Executive Director Dr. Bruce Dart. “Public health programs and services, along with the efforts of our community partner initiatives, are improving the health and well-being of Tulsa County residents. These valuable services provide a tremendous return on investment for the community.”
The Rankings allow counties to compare their neighbors in each state on more than 30 factors – such as high school graduation rates and children in poverty – and help communities move with data to action to build a culture of health together in new and creative ways. And we are using this year’s Rankings as a call to action to address our opportunity with gaps in social and economic factors so that every resident in Tulsa County has an equal opportunity to be healthy.
“We’ve taken important steps in our programming to expand opportunities so our community can thrive,” said Dart. “For example, our outreach coordinators and social workers provide enrollment assistance for SoonerCare in English and Spanish. This year’s report indicates we have fewer uninsured Oklahomans in our county compared to other counties.”
Even as Tulsa County continues to rise on the rankings, THD remains committed to tackling other lower ranked health concerns such as adult obesity and smoking cessation. THD currently offers adult health screenings and healthy cooking classes as a community outreach for healthy living. In 2017, Tulsa Health Department worked with community partners and the City of Tulsa on an ordinance to make all city parks tobacco free.
“All counties can continue to take action to improve the overall health of our state, no matter where they rank,” said Dart. “We can use this report to build on our successes and continue to mobilize community partners to take action and implement programs in policy changes in areas we need to improve here in Tulsa County. Our dedicated staff of public health professionals embrace our goal of becoming the healthiest county in the country.”
Tulsa Health Department
Since its establishment in 1950, the Tulsa Health Department serves as the primary public health agency to more than 600,000 Tulsa County residents, including 13 municipalities and four unincorporated areas. The agency is one of two autonomous local health departments in Oklahoma, with statutory public health jurisdiction throughout Tulsa County and the City of Tulsa. THD’s mission is to improve the health and well-being of all Tulsa County residents, in order to make Tulsa County the healthiest county in the country. THD was among the first health departments in the U.S. to receive national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board. For more information, please visit www.tulsa-health.org.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are working with others to build a national Culture of Health enabling everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at www.rwjf.org/twitter or on Facebook at www.rwjf.org/facebook.
University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute
The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute advances health and well-being for all by developing and evaluating interventions and promoting evidence-based approaches to policy and practice at the local, state, and national levels. The Institute works across the full spectrum of factors that contribute to health. A focal point for health and health care dialogue within the University of Wisconsin-Madison and beyond, and a convener of stakeholders, the Institute promotes an exchange of expertise between those in academia and those in the policy and practice arena. The Institute leads the work on the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps and the RWJF Culture of Health Prize. For more information, visit http://uwphi.pophealth.wisc.edu.
The Rankings are available at www.countyhealthrankings.org.