LIVINGSTON COUNTY – Livingston County’s outstanding health ranking has slipped slightly from 7th overall healthiet to 12th healthiest of New York State’s 62 counties.
According to a press release from the Livingston County Department of Health, the 2016 re-ranking by the annual County Health Rankings help health authorities identify and engage the community’s chronic health issues.
“We are pleased that Livingston County remains one of the top 15 healthiest counties,” said County Administrator Ian Coyle. “The rankings help communities see their most pressing health problems so leaders can work together on solutions. Our community is working to address chronic diseases, substance abuse and mental health by supporting policy changes and increasing access to health care.”
Full rankings by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI) are available here. The 2016 Rankings Key Findings Report highlights some new stats including residential segregation among blacks and whites, drug overdose deaths, and insufficient sleep and how they contribute to health.
The Department of Health added that Livingston County has strengths in its high quality of life, high high school graduation rate, low teen birthrate, low rate of uninsured residents, and low rate of injury deaths. Areas for improvement in the matters of health behaviors include adult smoking and adult obesity and clinical care, which include primary care physicians. The Livingston County Community Health Improvement Plan continues to focus on initiatives regarding chronic disease prevention, mental health promotion and substance abuse prevention, which correlate to the areas mentioned above. For more information on the Community Health Assessment, please visit their website here.
The Rankings are an easy-to-use snapshot comparing the health of nearly every county in the nation. The local-level data allows each state to see how its counties compare on more than 30 factors that influence health including education, housing, jobs, smoking, access to healthy food, and more.
“The County Health Rankings show how important it is to examine all the conditions that impact well-being and can help families thrive,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, RWJF president and CEO. “Communities around the nation are using the County Health Rankings to drive improvements in education, housing, job training, healthy food options, and more, as they work to build a Culture of Health.”
This year, the Rankings took a closer look at the differences in health between urban, rural, suburban, and smaller metro counties and found that
rural counties not only have higher rates of premature death, but also early one in five rural counties saw rises in premature death rates over the past decade, while most urban counties have experienced consistent improvement. Rural counties have higher rates of smoking, obesity, child poverty, teen births, and higher numbers of uninsured adults than their urban counterparts.
Large urban counties have lower smoking and obesity rates, fewer injury deaths, and more residents who attended some college.
Large suburban counties have the lowest rates of childhood poverty and teen births.
“The Rankings data are only as valuable as the action it inspires and the lives it improves,” said Bridget Catlin, PhD, MHSA, co-director of the County Health Rankings. “Whether it’s addressing health gaps between counties or the concentration of poverty in rural or residentially segregated communities—targeting resources to the people and places in greatest need is essential to building a Culture of Health. The Rankings are an important springboard for conversations on how to expand opportunity for all to be healthy.”