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Healthy Futures: Cradle to College

 

Lead: Rhode Island KIDS COUNT

Key Partners: The Providence Children and Youth Cabinet, Providence Mayor’s Office, Providence Schools, Rhode Island Early Learning Council, Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Rhode Island Office of Higher Education, Rhode Island Department of Health, Brown University’s Swearer Center for Public Service, Young Voices, College Visions and Youth in Action.

Project Location: Providence, RI

Contact:  Stephanie Geller, Project Director, Rhode Island KIDS COUNT, sgeller@rikidscount.org or 401-351-9400

Project Description

Whether it’s due to higher incomes or increased awareness about how to keep themselves healthy, people with more education tend to be healthier. In fact, research shows that with every additional year of educational attainment people have a greater chance of being and staying healthy.

In Rhode Island, as in the nation as a whole, parents’ education affects the health, educational achievement and future earnings of their children. The education level a person ultimately achieves in turn affects that person’s daily health choices (like what to eat and how often to exercise), access to health care, and overall health. The goal of this project is to raise awareness about these strong connections between education and health among a broad range of policymakers and stakeholders, ultimately enlisting new champions and improving access to all levels of education.

Rhode Island KIDS COUNT and its partners are using their grant funding to increase access to high-quality early learning programs and to help youth in Providence and statewide to graduate from high school and successfully enroll in and graduate from college—helping to ensure that they lead long, healthy lives.

Rhode Island KIDS COUNT and its partners are advocating for increased funding for public pre-k through the education funding formula, for the expansion of full-day kindergarten, for the development of early warning systems to identify students at risk of dropping out of high school, for implementation of a more rigorous high school curriculum, and for increased support for students applying to colleges and universities.

United Way of Rhode Island and The Rhode Island Foundation are providing a cash match for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant.

Why this work is important:

  • Research shows that with every additional year of educational attainment people have a greater chance of being and staying healthy.

  • The education level a person ultimately achieves in turn affects that person’s daily health choices (like what to eat and how often to exercise), access to health care, and overall health.

Relevant Information from the 2014 County Health Rankings:

  • Providence County ranked 5th out of 5 counties.

  • County-level high school graduation rates in Rhode Island ranged from 73% to 92%

  • Sixty percent of adults in Providence County have attained some college education, compared to 64 percent of adults in the state of Rhode Island.