Presentation Title

Identifying Urban and Rural “Bright Spots” Counties in the Northeastern Region of the US in 2020

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Start Date

30-4-2021 12:00 AM

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Department

Muskie School of Public Service

Faculty Mentor

Katherine Ahrens, PhD

Keywords

Public Health, Counties, Bright Spot, Better-Than-Expected, Health Outcome(s), Northeastern Region, Rural, Urban

Abstract

“Bright spots” are counties that are experiencing better-than-expected health outcomes. There have been a limited number of analyses exploring this concept. In 2011, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement identified 17 counties as bright spots across the U.S., 14 of which were rural counties (including Franklin County, Maine). Another analysis, conducted during 2018 in the Appalachian Region, used a different methodology and identified 15 urban counties and 27 rural counties as bright spots. The aim of our analysis is to replicate these methods, focusing on the Northeastern Region. Specifically, we will use data on socioeconomic factors, health behaviors, and health outcomes from the County Health Rankings for years 2010 and 2020 to identify bright spot counties in two ways: 1) counties whose predicted vs. observed data regarding health outcomes are outliers, and 2) counties within the top decile for observed health outcomes, examining rural and urban counties separately. The analysis will provide information necessary for further research to explore the driving factors of better-than-expected health outcomes in bright spot counties, particularly for rural areas.

Knight Thinking Matters Presentation.pdf (892 kB)
Identifying Urban and Rural “Bright Spots” Counties in the Northeastern Region of the US in 2020: Slides

Knight Thinking Matters Summary Report.docx (5211 kB)
Identifying Urban and Rural “Bright Spots” Counties in the Northeastern Region of the US in 2020: Summary Report

TM2021_Knight-K_transcript.txt (6 kB)
Identifying Urban and Rural “Bright Spots” Counties in the Northeastern Region of the US in 2020 - transcript

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Apr 30th, 12:00 AM

Identifying Urban and Rural “Bright Spots” Counties in the Northeastern Region of the US in 2020

“Bright spots” are counties that are experiencing better-than-expected health outcomes. There have been a limited number of analyses exploring this concept. In 2011, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement identified 17 counties as bright spots across the U.S., 14 of which were rural counties (including Franklin County, Maine). Another analysis, conducted during 2018 in the Appalachian Region, used a different methodology and identified 15 urban counties and 27 rural counties as bright spots. The aim of our analysis is to replicate these methods, focusing on the Northeastern Region. Specifically, we will use data on socioeconomic factors, health behaviors, and health outcomes from the County Health Rankings for years 2010 and 2020 to identify bright spot counties in two ways: 1) counties whose predicted vs. observed data regarding health outcomes are outliers, and 2) counties within the top decile for observed health outcomes, examining rural and urban counties separately. The analysis will provide information necessary for further research to explore the driving factors of better-than-expected health outcomes in bright spot counties, particularly for rural areas.

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