Talk with a health educator - MaineHealth Learning Resource Center Find health information - MaineHealth Learning Resource Center

MaineHealth 2012 Health Index Report:  Six Key Health Indicators
Highlight Successes and Challenges in State
Seventh Measure Added to Address Opiate Use

PORTLAND, Maine — December 11, 2012 – MaineHealth released its third annual Health Index Report today.  The report, developed by MaineHealth’s Health Index Initiative, tracks progress on six indicators that have a significant impact on overall community health: child immunization rate, tobacco use, prevalence of obesity, preventable hospitalizations, cardiovascular mortality and cancer mortality.  Included in the report is how the MaineHealth system and its many public health partners are addressing each of the indicators through clinical, community and policy strategies.

The framework for the MaineHealth initiative is America’s Health Rankings®, an annual comprehensive assessment of the nation’s health on a state-by-state basis.   The 2012 edition was released today, and MaineHealth’s Health Index Report was recognized as part of that announcement.   Maine’s overall ranking moved from the 10th healthiest state to 9th.  This was accomplished while being one of only two states in the top 10 with a median income below the U.S. median.   Some of the state’s strengths cited were low prevalence of low birthweight, low rate of uninsured population and low violent crime rate.  A complete copy of American’s Health Rankings® 2012 edition can be found at

“The findings included in today’s America’s Health Rankings® are consistent with the data we track on a more local level,” said Deborah Deatrick, vice president, Community Health.  “Considerable coordinated work is being done throughout the state among a host of partners, and we’ve seen success in areas such as increasing immunization rates and decreasing cardiovascular deaths, but we also see there is more work ahead in the areas of tobacco use, childhood obesity and cancer death.”

Report highlights:
Half of the six measures have seen improvement this year, including:  

  • Increase childhood immunizations – at 77% Maine now exceeds the national average of 74% (percent of 19- to 35-month olds) 
  • Decrease preventable hospitalization – with 59 hospitalizations per 1,000 Medicare enrollees, Maine is below the U.S rate of 67 and MaineHealth market areas come in at just 42  
  • Decrease cardiovascular deaths – Maine’s rate of 239 deaths per 100,000 is lower than the U.S. rate of 264.   Today’s America’s Health Rankings® lists Maine as the 17th lowest in cardiovascular mortality and with the third largest decrease over last year.

The other three measures have seen some progress, but still present challenges for our communities:

  • Decrease obesity – Maine’s incidences of adult obesity is consistent with national average, but obesity for young children is increasing 
  • Decrease cancer deaths – the good news is that rates have decreased, but Maine is still significantly higher than national rates. 
  • Decrease tobacco use – one in five adults in Maine smokes some days or every day

This year, the Health Index added a new measure -- decrease prescription drug abuse and addiction.  “With Maine in the unenviable position of having the highest opioid addiction treatment rate in the U.S as well as a mortality rate from prescription drug abuse that has more than tripled over the last decade, this is a health issue that is impacting counties across Maine,” noted Deatrick.

About MaineHealth
MaineHealth is a not-for-profit family of leading high-quality providers and other healthcare organizations working together so their communities are the healthiest in America. Ranked among the nation's top 100 integrated healthcare delivery networks, MaineHealth member organizations include Maine Medical Center, Goodall Hospital, LincolnHealth, Maine Mental Health Partners, Pen Bay Healthcare, Southern Maine Medical Center, Waldo County Healthcare, Western Maine Health, HomeHealth Visiting Nurses, Maine Physician Hospital Organization, NorDx and Synernet. Affiliates of MaineHealth include MaineGeneral Medical Center, Mid Coast Hospital, St. Mary's Regional Medical Center and New England Rehabilitation Hospital of Portland. 



Deborah Deatrick
Vice President, Community Health






110 Free Street | Portland, Maine 04101 | (207) 661-7001