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College of Public Health

JOHNSON CITY The Tennessee Institute of Public Health (TNIPH), which is housed in East Tennessee State University's College of Public Health, has received grant funding to take a leadership role in support of yearly rankings that gauge the health of every county in the United States.

The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute awarded the grant to TNIPH to increase public awareness of the County Health Rankings, which are compiled and released each spring by the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The institute has received the grant in consecutive years.

State legislators and higher education officials gathered at a meeting hosted by TNIPH board members in 2011 to discuss the county health outcomes, and the institute plans to host a similar session in Nashville this year. Ginny Kidwell, program director for TNIPH, said the grant funding will also enable the organization to visit one Tennessee community and invite a variety of local stakeholders to discuss the County Health Rankings.

"With this year's funding, TNIPH will be able to hold a special event in a local community that ranks in the lower half of Tennessee counties," Kidwell said. "The purpose of this grassroots initiative is to engage local leadership from the public and private sectors in discussions about the rankings. That could lead to ways where they might work together to promote community action to address their unique health challenges."

TNIPH is a partnership of public and private health agencies, organizations and academic institutions that was established to maximize resources for the purpose of promoting health research, education and service focused on improving the health of all Tennesseans.

For more information about TNIPH, contact Kidwell at (423) 439-4651 or, or visit
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