FRIDAY, APRIL 25, 2003

Contact: Scott Morgan, 785-841-3534

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It’s a Repeat:

Health Care State Rankings 2003 Names

Vermont the Nation’s Healthiest State

Mississippi Finishes Last

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LAWRENCE, KS.  Good health is a high priority in Vermont. For the third year in a row, Vermont has earned the title of the nation’s Healthiest State. The award was announced in Health Care State Rankings 2003, an annual reference book of state health statistics published this month by Morgan Quitno Press of Lawrence, Kansas. At the opposite end of the rankings scale, Mississippi finished in last place for the fourth consecutive year.

“Vermont always has been a strong contender in our Healthiest State rankings,” said Scott Morgan, president of Morgan Quitno Press. “For 10 of the 11 years that we have issued the award, Vermont has ranked among the top six states. It’s hold on the title for three consecutive years sets a new record among states.”

The 11th annual Healthiest State Award is based on 21 health-related factors from Health Care State Rankings 2003, an annual reference book that compares the 50 United States in more than 500 health care categories. Factors considered include infant mortality 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 states’ citizens have the best access to health care providers, affordable health care services and a generally healthy population," Morgan said. “Vermont fits this profile well. It boasts a low teen birth rate, a high childhood vaccination rate and excellent access to primary care physicians. Conversely, Mississippi faces the nation’s highest infant mortality rate, the highest teen birth rate and the highest percentage of population lacking access to primary care physicians.”

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

The Healthiest State Award is one of five 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 nation’s Safest City and Metro Area, the Most Livable State, the Safest and Most Dangerous States and the Smartest State. Each of these other awards and designations is based on data from annual Morgan Quitno reference publications.

Additional information about the 2003 Healthiest State Award, including rankings for all 50 states, a list of factors used to determine the results and an explanation of methodology, is available directly from Morgan Quitno Press at or by calling (785) 841-3534.


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