Tompkins County Ranked One of the Healthiest Communities

doctorThe Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin released county health rankings Wednesday for most counties in the United States. Tompkins County was ranked the second healthiest county in New York State.  The rankings represent a weighted summary of a number of measures that represent how healthy a county is and what influences the health of the county.  And the rankings help everyone to see that where they live, learn, work, and play influences their health and the health of their community.

Researchers used mortality and morbidity measures to assess the level of overall health or 'health outcomes' for New York by county: the rate of people dying before age 75, the percent of people who report being in fair or poor health, the numbers of days people report being in poor physical and poor mental health, and the rate of low-birth weight infants.  The top five counties in New York State were Livingston, Tompkins, Rockland, Putnam, and Saratoga.

The Rankings also looks at factors that affect people’s health within four categories: health behavior, clinical care, social and economic factors, and physical environment. Among the wide range of health factors they looked at were rates of adult smoking, adult obesity, excessive drinking among adults, teenage births the number of uninsured adults, availability of primary care providers, dentists, and mental health providers.  Rates of high school graduation, adults who have had some college, children in poverty, and air pollution levels and opportunities for physical activity, were also assessed.

“Tompkins County has consistently ranked in the top five healthiest counties in New York State since the rankings began in 2010,” says Frank Kruppa, Public Health Director.  The rankings are a snapshot of the health of our community. They allow us to dig deeper into local data to identify health concerns that don’t show up in national measures,” he added  “It’s up to schools, health care providers, community agencies, business, and local government, and each individual to work together to keep Tompkins County healthy.” The Tompkins County Health Department used the 2013 County Health Rankings as a benchmark and reference in its 2013 – 2017 Community Health Assessment.

Tompkins County Health Department intends to keep the community aware of these rankings to use as a guide post in efforts to keep Tompkins County a healthy community.

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