Xavier Collaborates on Health and Wellness Report for the Cincinnati Area

June 20, 2011

Indicators of Healthy Communities


Health Collaborative of Greater Cincinnati – Xavier University – United Way of Greater Cincinnati


For Immediate Release                                              For more information, contact:

June 20, 2011                                                              Karla Webb, kwebb@gchc.org

2649 Erie Avenue, Second Floor

Cincinnati, OH 45212

(513) 979-0044 or (513) 531-0267


Indicators of Healthy Communities offers picture of Tristate health;

More than 40 indicators included in 2011 report


The fifth edition of Indicators of Healthy Communities, first issued in 1997, is now available, and includes more than 40 indicators capturing aspects of health and wellness in the 15-county Tristate area. The report was compiled by the Health Improvement Collaborative of Greater Cincinnati, Xavier University and United Way of Greater Cincinnati. According to Greg Ebel, executive director of the Collaborative, “This report is intended to establish a baseline of Tristate health and well-being that will serve as a catalyst for community dialogue and action.”

            In addition to more than 40 indicators, new features in the 2011 report include trended charts and a dynamic website, www.indicatorsofhealthycommunities.org. The website will be continually updated as new data become available.

            Indicators of Healthy Communities serves as a snapshot in time of health indicators in the 15 counties in Greater Cincinnati, drawn from multiple sources. It provides one convenient place for organizations and individuals to gather local and regional health information. Robert C. Reifsnyder, president and CEO, United Way of Greater Cincinnati, says, “Health is one of United Way’s three areas of focus – improving people’s health and independence. This report helps us determine the progress our region is making towards that goal, and where we need to work to improve.”

There are areas of relatively positive comparison in the report: poverty rates better than the national average; relatively stable education rates that are comparable to the nation; air that is getting cleaner, prenatal care rates better than the national average, tuberculosis rates lower than the national average and low rates of individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Mortality rates for stroke, heart disease and cancer have all decreased; however, we are still higher than the national average in all of those areas. Summaries do not provide a complete picture, though, since counties within the region may vary widely in these and other measures. For this reason, the data are provided by county whenever possible.

Edmond Hooker, MD, DrPH, associate professor of health services administration at Xavier University, who coordinated development of the report, says, “This report is critical to help us focus on areas of health that we must improve. We hope it will be used extensively by public and private organizations in the area to identify shared opportunities to improve health.”

Sources of data for the report include the Greater Cincinnati Community Health Status Survey (GCCHSS), the U.S. Census Bureau, municipal, county, state and federal government sources, and many others.

            The report is divided into nine general areas: a demographic overview of Greater Cincinnati; environmental factors influencing health; maternal, child and infant health; health behaviors; behavioral and mental health; infectious disease; health service utilization; mortality; and injury death. The data are put into context by comparing them to state and national numbers where available, and to Healthy People 2020, a set of 10-year goals for improving the health of all Americans. In the full report, a narrative written by an area health expert accompanies each indicator to help the reader interpret the data.


About the organizations that partnered for this report

Xavier University is a private university located in Cincinnati, Ohio, providing a liberal arts education in the Catholic, Jesuit tradition. Founded in 1831, the university is the sixth-oldest Catholic university in the nation. U.S. News & World Report ranks it No. 3 among master’s-level universities in the Midwest, and The Princeton Review names it as one of the “Best 373 Colleges in America.” More information is available at www.xavier.edu.

The Health Improvement Collaborative of Greater Cincinnati is dedicated to bringing people together to effectively address health care issues in Greater Cincinnati. The Health Collaborative assembles diverse community stakeholders, from health systems and insurers to businesses and community members, with the goal of generating measurable, sustainable health improvement. Key initiatives include Cincinnati Aligning Forces for Quality, a partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that focuses on lifting the quality and equality of care in our region; YourHealthMatters, a consumer focused public reporting website (www.YourHealthMatters.org); Cincinnati MD Resource Center, a program to recruit and retain an adequate physician supply for the region; and Advanced Care Planning, an emerging initiative to address end-of-life care. The work of the Collaborative has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. For more information, visit www.the-collaborative.org.

United Way of Greater Cincinnati advances the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for all. Its focus is on Education, Income and Health – the building blocks for a good quality of life. United Way recruits individuals and organizations who bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done. United Way recently convened numerous community and agency partners to develop a set of Bold Goals in Education, Income and Health for the region. The six Bold Goals are a community-based approach to realizing our vision for a stronger community with a high quality of life. United Way of Greater Cincinnati is also committed to providing accurate and timely information essential to helping our community develop solutions to critical health and human services problems. For more information, visit www.uwgc.org.