Health Policy


Tackling Health Challenges Facing African Americans: An Interview with Dr. Reed Tuckson

A new assessment that measures the healthiness of states shows a decline in the overall health of the nation. The American Public Health Association and Partnership for Prevention collaborated with the United Health Foundation to produce the 18th annual edition of America’s Health Rankings: A Call to Action for People & Their Communities.

The report found that the overall health of the nation fell by a rate of 0.3 percent between 2006 and 2007. By contrast, the nation’s average annual improvement was 1.5 percent between 1990 and 2000. Even reductions in the rates of cancer and cardiovascular mortality could not offset growing rates of obesity, an increase in the number of uninsured and persistent risks such as tobacco use and violent crime.

The report ranked Vermont, Minnesota, Hawaii, New Hampshire, and Connecticut as the five healthiest states. The least healthy states are Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. Reed Tuckson, M.D., a member of the board of the United Health Foundation, discussed the report and the problems it highlights with FOCUS.

The entire report can be viewed at or