Hudson Valley News
12:52 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

2013 County Health Rankings Are Released

An annual report on health rankings for counties across the country has just been released. Four Hudson Valley counties are in the top 10 in New York.

It’s the fourth annual report on health rankings, and gives a snapshot of the overall health of counties. Abbey Cofsky is senior program officer for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which developed the report with the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute.

And it is some of these factors that propelled Rockland County toward the top of the list in New York.

Kathy Henry is the acting health commissioner in Rockland County. She says the ranking shows that the work they’ve done to cut down on smoking has been successful.

And, she says, relationships with other agencies, and county government departments. Abbey Cofsky points out that there is room for improvement for Rockland, in the way of physical environment; for example, air quality. And Rockland’s Henry says some of this can be attributed to the overall increased transportation use in the county, and therefore, increased emissions.

Livingston County ranked number one in New York. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Cofsky says the high-ranking counties tend to share the following factors.

Putnam County came in at number four this year, dropping from the number-one spot for 2012. Westchester stayed at number seven, and Dutchess remained number nine. Sullivan ranked at the bottom, number 61 of the 62 counties.

New York’s Washington County ranked 42. Abbey Cofsky explains why.

Overall, Cofsky says, Northeastern states are relatively healthy. For example, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, which ranked 11 out of 14 in the state, could actually be much healthier than a higher ranking county in the southeast. She talks about one of the major trends that emerged from this year’s rankings.

And if you’d like to see how your county ranks, you may visit our web site, at wamc.org, for a link to the report, at countyhealthrankings.org.

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