By Jeff Sherman Staff Writer Published Dec 04, 2008 at 11:48 AM

According to the 19th annual America's Health Rankings report, is the 17th healthiest state, down from No. 12 last year.

Vermont is the healthiest U.S. state, and Louisiana is the least healthy, according to the report, issued by the United Health Foundation, the American Public Health Association, and the Partnership for Prevention advocacy group.

Wisconsin's strengths include a high rate of high school graduation (96.7 percent) and low rates of uninsured (8.5 percent) and infectious disease. Our challenges to health include binge drinking, a 25.3 percent obesity rank and low public health funding at $34 per person.

The rankings are based on 22 health measures, including factors that affect a population's future health and ones that measure health outcomes that have already occurred.

It was the second year in a row that Vermont earned the healthiest distinction. The next healthiest states were Hawaii (second place), New Hampshire (third), Minnesota (fourth), and Utah (fifth). Mississippi, which ranked as the unhealthiest state last year, came in 49th this year;  rounding out the bottom of the list were South Carolina (48th), Tennessee (47th) and Texas (46th).

Jeff Sherman Staff Writer

A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.

He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.

Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.  He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.  

He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.

He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.