Report Rates Lake County as Among the Healthiest in the State

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For Immediate Release
Date: April 11, 2017
Contact: Leslie Piotrowski
(847) 377-8055
Hannah Goering
(847) 377-8099

Report Rates Lake County as Among the Healthiest in the State

Lake County ranked 6th out of 102 counties in Illinois for health outcomes (measured by length of life and quality of life) according to the 2017 County Health Rankings, released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPH). Over the past three years, the Health Department has increased its ranking from 15th in Illinois to 6th. The Lake County Health Department/Community Health Center (LCHD/CHC) and its partners have worked together to help improve the county’s health outcomes.

“We continue to be one of the healthiest counties in Illinois, but we still have work to do,” said Mark Pfister, the executive director of the Lake County Health Department. “The recent update to our mission and vision statements reflects our focus on promoting the health and well-being of all who live, work, and play in Lake County. We hope that through our partnerships and focus on making a positive impact in Lake County that we can continue to improve health outcomes for our residents.”

The Health Department recently launched its 2017-2019 strategic plan, which is focused on improving the conditions in which people live, work and play. To address these conditions, the Health Department partners with Live Well Lake County (LWLC), a multisector group made up of community organizations, government agencies, health care systems, and academic institutions, to  reduce chronic diseases such as diabetes through focused prevention and health education efforts across the county.  Through its recent community assessment, the Live Well Lake County Steering Committee identified the top four health priorities to address for all in Lake County.

  • Cardiovascular disease and hypertension
  • Obesity

  • Behavioral health capacity

  • Diabetes

The Health Department adopted these priorities and infectious disease prevention as the foundation for its strategic plan. To address diabetes, it is enhancing its care model to reduce diabetes rates amongst its patient population. Staff are also working with partners through LWLC to increase prediabetes prevention efforts.

To address obesity, Health Department staff are working in integrated behavioral health programs to reduce obesity among clients. The Libertyville behavioral health clinic targets behavioral health patients because these individuals are more likely to have chronic conditions but less likely to be receiving the medical care needed to manage them. The result is an up to 25-year reduction in life expectancy for those with a serious mental illness.

LWLC partners are involved in a number of countywide initiatives that are encouraging active lifestyles and healthy eating to reduce obesity. For the fourth year in a row, the Health Department, Lake County Forest Preserves, and NorthShore University HealthSystem are offering Rx for Health: Walking in Nature. Eight free walks, led by a physician and a forest preserve naturalist, are open to the public and encourage residents to enjoy Lake County’s natural resources and ask questions about their overall health and wellbeing.  

For more information about the County Heath Rankings or to see the data used in the ranking, visit:

For more information on the Health Department’s programs, including its new strategic plan, visit:

For more information on Live Well Lake County, visit: 

The County Health Rankings provide a snapshot of the health of counties across the nation. The rankings include more than 30 factors that contribute to individual and community health including education, housing, employment, tobacco use, food security, and more.






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Lake County Health Department
3010 Grand Avenue
Waukegan, Illinois 60085
(847) 377-8000