In the 2013 County Health Rankings released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, Rockland County ranked second in overall health, up from fourth place last year.
The 2013 County Health Rankings, released in March by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, ranked Rockland County second in overall health (up from fourth place last year) and sixth in the state for health factors, the same ranking it received last year.
“Our high ranking reflects the priority this county has placed on programs, policies, and services that affect our residents’ health," said Kathleen M. Henry, R.N., M.A., and acting commission of health. "Clearly as a county we are making strides, and we will continue to work to improve the health of our residents.”
Counties are ranked according to its current overall health, or health outcomes and the estimate of future health, or health factors. The rankings examine many factors that influence health, and allow people to compare the overall health of their county with the health of the rest of the counties in the state, demonstrating that where we live, learn, work, and play influences a population's health and life longevity.
The report demonstrates that Rockland County residents are living more healthy lives, due in part to the many grants received by the health department over the years. The focus of the Rockland County health department has been on encouraging Rockland County residents to eat better, move more, and be tobacco free. This leads to lower incidence of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Some of the programs and services provided by the health department include bringing farmers’ markets to the community and worksites, assisting restaurants in developing healthier choices on their menus, and developing walking programs.
“I value our health department’s expertise and commitment to making this a healthier county for all," said C. Scott Vanderhoef, Rockland county executive. "I’m proud that the work of our health department and our community health partners has been recognized. I will continue to support these extraordinary efforts to assure that Rockland maintains this high standing. Rockland’s high ranking reflects the health department’s partnership and collaboration with the health systems in the county, including the hospitals, the federally qualified health centers, and the medical community.”
In addition, Rockland County's low adult smoking rate of 9.7 percent, the lowest in the state according to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, demonstrates the impact of comprehensive efforts like the Put It Out Rockland tobacco prevention, education, and cessation program enacted in 2001.
View the full report at countyhealthrankings.org.