For the second time in a year, Rockland County has ranked No. 1 in the state for overall health in the annual County Health Rankings Report, released Tuesday, March 19.
The overall health of a county is measured by two types of health outcomes: how long people live and how healthy people feel while alive.
Since 2013, Rockland County has been ranked one of the top three counties in the state for overall health and has ranked first three times.
"Safeguarding the public's health is a priority in Rockland County," said County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert. "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."
In the study, Rockland ranked sixth 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, the report helps the Health Department understand community strengths as well as opportunities for improvement.
For example, according to the data, the county continues to rank low in the physical environment health factor, which includes housing. This looks at the percentage of households with at least one of four housing problems: overcrowding, high housing costs, lack of kitchen facilities, or lack of plumbing facilities.
To deal with the issue, the Rockland Codes Initiative was developed and provides the public with a place to register complaints online 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 registries. To date, RCI received 4,997 complaints, conducted 20,761 inspections, identified 26,541 violations, and gained compliance through education and enforcement.
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.
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