Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

March 19, 2019
Contact: John Lyon, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
                Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, D.O., M.P.H., CPE, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512


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 2019 in the annual County Health Rankings Report released today. Rockland County has held the #1 spot for two years in a row.

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 has ranked first three times.

"Safeguarding the public's health is a priority in Rockland County. For example, over the past six months, Health Department staff has been monitoring a measles outbreak and working within our successful partnerships including community and faith organizations, health care providers, schools, worksites, and municipalities to limit the outbreak and keep Rockland healthy and safe," said Dr. Ruppert.

Rockland ranked sixth in New York State this year for health factors, the same as last year. The ranking is based on four types of health factors including health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and physical environments. This includes many factors that affect health such as education, employment, housing, tobacco use, and access to health care.

While Rockland ranked high overall, this report helps the Health Department understand community strengths as well as opportunities for improvement. The data is used to further support public health campaigns and initiatives. "Though we have done very well in the County Health Rankings Report, there is still much work to do. We continue to take important steps towards achieving our goal of keeping all Rockland County residents healthy and safe by working with our residents and collaborating with partners to address the issues that need improvement," said Dr. Ruppert.

For example, according to the data, we continue to rank low in the physical environment health factor, which includes housing. This looks at the percentage of households with at least 1 of 4 housing problems: overcrowding, high housing costs, lack of kitchen facilities, or lack of plumbing facilities.

The Health Department recently underwent a comprehensive reorganization, and the Rockland Codes Initiative became the Center for Rockland Codes Investigations, indicative of the high priority placed on housing issues in the county.

The Rockland Codes Initiative (RCI) commenced on April 30, 2015, with a dual focus; improving housing conditions throughout the county and protecting first responders. During the initial phases of development, RCI established a website which enables the public to register complaints on-line and provides a list of worst landlords. More recently the website was updated to include the most improved landlord and allow access to the multiple dwelling rental registry. To date, RCI received 4,997 complaints, conducted 20,761 inspections, identified 26,541 violations, and gained compliance through education and enforcement.

The success of RCI is the foundation for the Center for Rockland Codes Investigations, which will continue to ensure safe and sanitary housing for all residents and protect our first responders via new and innovative phases. For more information visit

"The fact that we are once again ranked #1 in New York State despite the ongoing measles outbreak is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our Health Department staff," said County Executive Day. "I am incredibly proud of their work in close collaboration with our communities and health partners. The County Health Rankings show yet another reason why Rockland is one of the best places to live and work in the state. 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