Frequently Asked Questions about the Rankings

1. When will this year's Rankings be released?
2. Who do I contact with questions about Minnesota counties and the Rankings?
3. Who ranks the counties?
4. Why are the counties ranked this way?
5. What is a data embargo? Can I view the Rankings during the embargo?
6. What if the media contacts me about my county?
7. What other resources are avaiable to my county to help interpret the Rankings?
Img County Health Rankings & Roadmaps: FAQ

1. When will this year's Rankings be released?

The County Health Rankings will be avaiable for counties to view under an embargo, prior to opening to the general public. The embargo will end on March 25, 2015 at 11:01 PM Central.

2. Who do I contact with questions about Minnesota counties and the Rankings?

MDH is happy to assist you in navigating this year's Rankings, and interpreting what the Rankings mean for you. For more information, visit Contact Us.

3. Who ranks the counties?

The Rankings are based on a model of population health that emphasizes the many factors that, if improved, can help make communities healthier places to live, learn, work and play. Building on the work of America's Health Rankings, the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute has used this model to rank the health of Wisconsin's counties every year since 2003.

For more information, visit County Health Rankings: Our Approach.

4. Why are the counties ranked this way?

As we know from Minnesota's Statewide Health Assessment, the social and economic factors in our lives impact our health a great deal. The Rankings consider social and economic factors to reflect that.

For more information, visit County Health Rankings: Rankings Methods.

5. What is a data embargo? Can I view the Rankings during the embargo?

About the Data Embargo

The County Health Rankings data is embargoed until the Rankings are officially released. This means that the media should not publish stories prior to that time.

It is recommended that local health departments not share Rankings information with anyone, except possibly media, prior to their official release. This is needed to ensure the embargo holds. If you choose to share information with the media prior to the official release date, please be sure to include an embargo statement, such as:

This information is embargoed until [see date above]. It should not be discussed publicly or published in the media prior to that time.

The UW Population Health Institute will provide information to national media prior to the official release date; this means you could be contacted by media prior to that day.

If you absolutely feel the need to share the information with someone, please consult with MDH.

Getting to the Embargoed Rankings

If you are a CHS Administrator or PHN Director in Minnesota, you will have received a listserv message with a login and password. If you are one of the above and need the information, please contact MDH.

If you are a CHS Administrator or PHN Director and have the login and password, please do not share it with media or other partners.

6. What if the media contacts me about my county?

If you are a CHS Administrator or PHN Director, you will have received a listserv message with some key resources to help you talk to your local media (re-request this information).

MDH will also issue a news release on the official release date, and will provide embargoed copies of the report to any media who request them. MDH will also notify local public health departments via the listserv when they receive a request from local media. We will encourage media to contact local health departments for more information.

7. What other resources are avaiable to my county to help interpret the Rankings?

For more resources specific to Minnesota, visit Resources for Counties.