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Almost one in six Connecticut children are food insecure and the number of state residents newly diagnosed with HIV has been dropping since 2010, according to the Dept. of Public Health’s new 2019 State Health Assessment. In 2017, 14.4% of Connecticut high school students used e-cigarettes, up from 2.4% in 2009. Over one in four Connecticut children ages 2 to 17 drinks at least one 12 oz soda or sugar-sweetened beverage each day; children in low-income households are twice as likely to drink soda every day. Not surprisingly, 17.5% of Connecticut children ages 5 to 17 are obese; that rate is also twice as high for low-income households. ED visit rates are dropping for state residents under age 45 but rising for people over 64 years; 18 to 44 year-olds and Medicaid members have consistently the highest rates of ED use by far.

The report includes a wealth of data on how we are doing and the challenges facing our state. Chapters in the 396-page document include Describing Connecticut, Maternal, Infant and Child Health, Environmental Health, Drinking Water, Chronic Diseases, Infectious Diseases, Behavioral Health, Trauma and Injury, Health Systems, Climate and Health, and Navigating Health Equity. Companion documents include Assets and Resources, and Community Engagement.

The report is part of planning for Healthy Connecticut 2025, DPH’s regular planning process to improve the health of every state resident. Areas of focus for this plan include healthcare access, economic stability, healthy food & shelter, and community resilience & preparedness. DPH engages hundreds of groups and individuals in the discussion and setting priorities, respectfully listening to every voice. And they circle back to us during implementation so it’s not just a report that sits on a shelf. It’s a model of engaged, data-driven policymaking that is too rare in Connecticut.

To get involved in the planning process, register here.