Philly region's counties ranked by health - or is it wealth?

Dutchess, Ulster among healthy places to live

Middle-income Delaware County places slightly better than middle for Pennsylvania. "But do they tell us something we didn't know two weeks ago? Unhealthy diets contribute to higher rates of cardiovascular disease and obesity and many diseases disproportionately strike people of lower social economic status".

Monroe County Health Department Administrator John Wagner could not immediately be reached for comment. "We have slipped to 44 out of 92 counties in our overall health ranking!" Lee said the coach meets via virtual conference with members of the coalition's executive board for 90 minutes once a month.

"We need to continue to understand, identify and address institutional and systemic barriers that keep everyone from attaining their highest level of health".

These young people are a "largely invisible" population that represent an 'untapped social and economic opportunity, ' Marjory Givens, an associate scientist with RWJF's county health program, told USA Today. The rankings also consider how access to clinical care, the environment and socioeconomic factors influence health.

The five counties in the poorest health, starting with least healthy, are Quitman, Randolph, Clay, Jefferson and Early counties.

While southeast Kansas health rankings have yet to improve, groups have formed to tackle the issue, Morgan said.

The rankings are based on health-related data collected by the federal government. "They are a great start but there's still a lot of work to be done", he said.

One thing that might help is getting cribs to those families, according to Peters, which is something the Infant Mortality Reduction Initiative is working toward.

Calls to the Duval County Health Department were not immediately returned.

The 2017 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation county health rankings added a new measure called disconnected youth, which looks at how many people age 16 to 24 are not in school or working. "Smaller metro and rural counties also have higher rates of premature death due to drug overdoses". Forsyth had 4,100 years of premature death, compared to the averages of nation's top performers, 5,200, and state, 7,300.

Luzerne, Carbon and Schuylkill counties are among the 15 unhealthiest counties in the state, according an annual report released this week that rates each county on overall health. Many organizations have worked tirelessly over the last 20 years to address smoking rates, physical activity, nutrition, and alcohol use.

Peters said parts of St. Clair County are registered as "medically-professional shortage areas". Areas of strength include its low number of uninsured residents, inactive adults and excessive drinkers, as well as the high number of residents with at least some college education.

KINGSTON, N.Y. Ulster County is continuing its upward climb as one of the healthiest counties in the state, while Dutchess County is headed in the opposite direction, according to rankings newly released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Sandra Averhart reports on county health rankings.

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