FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WEDNESDAY, MAY 08, 2002

Contact: Scott Morgan, 785-841-3534

press@morganquitno.com

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Itís a Repeat:

Vermont is Nationís Healthiest State

Mississippi Once Again Ranks Last

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LAWRENCE, KS. Vermont is on a health kick. For the second consecutive year, Vermont has earned the title of the nationís Healthiest State. Morgan Quitno Press, a Lawrence, Kansas-based independent research and publishing company, today declared Vermont the winner of its 2002 Healthiest State Award. Also making a repeat appearance was Mississippi, bringing up the least healthy end of the rankings for the third year in a row.

"Vermont always has done well in our rankings," said Scott Morgan, president of Morgan Quitno Press. ďLast year was the first time that Vermont finished as the #1 state. It has earned this honor for a second straight year because of its excellent record, particularly in the area of reproductive health.Ē

The ninth annual Healthiest State Award is based on 21 health-related factors from Health Care State Rankings, an annual reference book that compares the 50 United States in more than 500 health care categories. The 2002 edition of Health Care State Rankings was published in April. Factors considered include infant mortality rates, teen birth rates, the percent of population not covered by health insurance, per capita expenditures for health care, percent of population lacking access to primary medical care, childhood immunization rates, and percent of adults who smoke.

"Our award reflects which statesí citizens have the best access to health care providers, affordable health care services and a generally healthy population," Morgan said. "Vermont has one of the nationís lowest teen birth rates and excellent access to primary care physicians. At the opposite end of the rankings, Mississippi has the nationís highest teen birth rate, one of the highest infant mortality rates and the highest percentage of population lacking access to primary care physicians.Ē

Following Vermont were Minnesota in second place, Iowa in third, New Hampshire in fourth and Nebraska in fifth. Bringing up the end of the rankings scale were Mississippi in last place, Louisiana in 49th, New Mexico in 48th, Alabama in 47th and Nevada in 46th place.

The Healthiest State Award is one of four designations announced annually by Morgan Quitno Press in conjunction with the publication of its Health Care State Rankings reference book. The company's other annual announcements designate the nationís Safest City and Metro Area, the Most Livable State and the Safest and Most Dangerous States. Each of these other awards and designations is based on data from annual Morgan Quitno reference publications.

Additional information about the 2002 Healthiest State Award is available through the Morgan Quitno website at www.statestats.com. For further inquiries, please contact Morgan Quitno Press at (785) 841-3534.

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