The 6th annual County Health Rankings have been released by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The County Health Rankings rank the overall health of nearly every county in all 50 states. This allows each county to see how healthy their community is compared to other counties within their state based on 30 factors measured, including education, transportation, housing, violent crimes, jobs, diet and exercise.
The County Health Rankings are a snapshot of the impact that the measured factors have on the health of each county. The rankings for New York State are out of the 62 counties. There are five main categories and the factors that make up each category are measured and ranked.
• Health Outcomes (Today’s Health): which includes length of life, premature death, sickness, mental health and low birth weight;
• Health Factors (Tomorrow’s Health): including health behaviors: adult smoking, adult obesity, food environment index, physical inactivity, access to exercise opportunities, excessive drinking, alcohol-impaired driving deaths, sexually transmitted disease and teen births;
• Clinical Care: including uninsured, primary care physicians, dentists, mental health providers, preventable hospital stays, diabetic screening, and mammography screening;
• Social and Economic Factors: including high school graduation, some college, unemployment, children in poverty, inadequate social support, children in single-parent households, violent crime and injury deaths; and
• Physical Environment: including air pollution, drinking water violations, severe housing problems, driving alone to work, and long commute – driving alone.
The County Health Rankings are compiled from many different types of national data sources. The county with the lowest score (best health) gets a rank of #1 for that state and the county with the highest score (worst health) is assigned a rank corresponding to the number of total counties ranked in each state.
Results for Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties are as follows:
• Genesee County ranked 40th in overall Health Outcomes, 26th in overall Health Factors, 54th in Clinical Care, 11th in Social and Economic Factors, and 46th in Physical Environment.
• Orleans County ranked 47th in overall Health Outcomes, 59th in overall Health Factors, 62nd in Clinical Care, 50th in Social and Economic Factors, and 54th in Physical Environment.
• Wyoming County ranked 17th in overall Health Outcomes, 27th in overall Health Factors, 49th in Clinical Care, 19th in Social and Economic Factors, and 57th in Physical Environment.
Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming County health departments continue to implement their 2013-2017 Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) developed to address some of the issues noted in the County Health Rankings, as well as community residents’ concerns noted in the Community Health Assessment Survey conducted in 2013.
With the assistance of our local health systems and community organizations, Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties chose two priority areas from the New York State Department of Health Prevention Agenda to work toward improving. These priority areas are preventing chronic diseases and promoting mental health and preventing substance abuse.
“Staff from the departments are dedicated to implementing the Community Health Improvement Plan and these efforts will help to reflect improved standing in future County Health Rankings. This impact will take time to be seen as the data collection process and publishing takes time, on average three to five years,” said Paul Pettit, Public Health director for Genesee and Orleans counties. "The Health Departments continue to partner with community organizations, faith-based organizations businesses and community members to work toward decreasing obesity, diabetes, stroke, heart disease and nicotine-related illnesses, as well as developing and promoting a wide-ranging resource to help health care providers and community members have access to mental health services.
"As you can see this is no small task that one organization can take on alone. We believe we can make an impact on the health of our communities if we work together. What are some things you can do to be healthier? How can you have an impact on the health of your neighborhood? Keep an eye out for some exciting opportunities as we move forward working together to become the healthiest region!"
To learn more about the NYS Prevention Agenda visit:
To get a detailed look at the 2015 County Health Rankings visit:
For information about health department services:• Genesee County Health Department call: 344-2580, ext. 5000, or visit the Web site at www.co.genesee.ny.us/departments/health/index.html
• Orleans County Health Department call: 589-3278 or check out the Web site at: www.orleansny.com/publichealth
You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter. Our user name for both is OrleansCoHealth.
• Wyoming County Health Department call: 786-8890 or visit the Web site at: www.wyomingco.net/health/main.html