RockCoExec.png

Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 14, 2018
Contact: John Lyon, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
                   Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, D.O., M.P.H., CPE, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512

ROCKLAND RANKED #1 HEALTHIEST COUNTY IN NYS

Annual County Health Rankings report released today

NEW CITY, NY - - Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert are proud to announce that Rockland County is ranked first in New York State for overall health in 2018, up from second place last year, in the annual County Health Rankings released today.

Overall health of a county is measured by two types of health outcomes: how long people live (length of life) and how healthy people feel while alive (quality of life). "Since 2013, Rockland County has been ranked one of the top three counties in New York State for overall health, and twice has ranked first. This is a tribute to all the wonderful work done by our Health Department staff, as well as to our successful partnerships with community and faith organizations, health care providers, schools, worksites, and municipalities," said Dr. Ruppert.

Rockland ranked sixth in New York State this year for health factors, the same as last year. The County Health Rankings compile four types of health factors including health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and physical environment, which includes housing problems. The report looks at more than 30 factors that affect health such as education, employment, housing, tobacco use, and access to health care. The report then compares counties in each state.

While we ranked high overall, this report helps us focus our efforts, and we use the data to further support our public health campaigns and initiatives. For example, according to the data, 27% of residents report severe housing problems, a percentage which has stayed fairly consistent for the past few years. Our Rockland Codes Initiative (RCI) was developed to tackle housing issues in the community. Launched by County Executive Day in April 2015, RCI is an innovative approach to combating health, housing and fire safety issues, and is responsible for identifying various neighborhood concerns ranging from illegal apartments, sanitary code violations, overcrowding, and unsafe living conditions. Complaints are investigated by the Rockland County Department of Health. For more information about RCI visit http://rocklandgov.com/departments/health/housing/rockland-codes-initiative/.

"We know that some groups in our community may not be doing as well as others. There is still much work to do, especially with our underserved and racially and ethnically disparate populations. We are working with our residents and collaborating with our partners to address the issues that need improvement. As we delve deeper into the Rankings data in the next few weeks, we will highlight other areas of focus as we continue to take important steps towards achieving our goal of keeping all Rockland County residents healthy and safe," said Dr. Ruppert.

"I'm proud of the hard work done by Health Department staff, working together with our communities and partners, to improve the quality of health for our residents," said County Executive Day. "The County Health Rankings show yet another reason why Rockland is one of the best places to live and work in the state. We use the data from the Rankings to continue to develop strategies that create a culture of health and wellness that benefits all residents. I extend my congratulations on another year of extremely positive outcomes!"

The rankings are issued by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The full report can be viewed online at www.countyhealthrankings.org/.