For more information contact:
Theresa Lyczko at (607) 274-6714 Frank Kruppa at (607) 274-6674
Tompkins County Ranked One of the Healthiest Communities in New York State
April 3, 2012 (Ithaca, N.Y.) — The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin today released county health rankings for most counties in the United States. Tompkins County was ranked the second healthiest county in New York State. The rankings use a standard way to measure how healthy people are and how long they live. And the rankings help everyone to see that where they live, learn, work, and play influences their health and the health of their community.
Tompkins County ranked high in such factors as education, access to healthy foods, and the physical environment – low pollution and access to recreational areas – and high educational levels – all contributing factors to good health.
Researchers used five 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 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 many health factors they looked at: rates of adult smoking, adult obesity, excessive drinking among adults, and teenage births; the number of uninsured adults, availability of primary care providers, and preventable hospital stays; rates of high school graduation, adults who have attended college, children in poverty; and community safety; access to healthy foods and air pollution levels.
“The County Health Rankings help everyone see that much of what influences our health happens outside of the doctor’s office and where we live matters to our health,” says Frank Kruppa, Public Health Director. Maintaining the health of the community is everyone’s business, not just public health, he said. “It’s up to schools, health care providers, community agencies, local government to work together to reduce obesity rates and encourage health behaviors that result in healthy individuals and communities. And we can’t rest on our laurels. We have to ensure that the programs and policies we have in place are sustained so that we continue to be in the “top ten” in the years ahead.”
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. For detailed information on the rankings go to www.countyhealthrankings.org