2017 County Health Rankings Released
Broome Vows to Take Action with New Task Force to Improve Health Outcomes
(BINGHAMTON, NY) The 2017 County Health Rankings have been released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI). These rankings use specific data related to health outcomes and health factors to evaluate community health nationwide. The County Health Rankings measure the health of communities by examining how long people live and how healthy they feel. This announcement coincides with National Public Health Week, April 3-9, 2017.
In 2017, Broome County is ranked 55th out of the 62 New York State counties. Previously, Broome County (in the 2016 Rankings) was ranked 56.
“Our ranking is not acceptable. I know we can do much better as a community in terms of health and we are committed to doing so,” said Jason Garnar, Broome County Executive, “I am taking action immediately to work to create healthier behaviors in Broome County.”
This week, County Executive Garnar announced he has created the Get Healthy Broome Task Force to address this issue. The task force is comprised of several county departments and Broome County legislators who will work collectively to explore opportunities and provide information to county residents to improve the health outcomes and health factors in Broome.
For the 2017 Rankings, Broome County improved its Length of Life ranking to 53 out of 62 counties. This is compared to Broome’s rank of 56 out of 62 in 2016. This improvement means the county has had less years of productive life lost from premature death. Rather than examine overall death rates, the County Health Rankings look at the premature death rate, deaths that occur among people under the age of 75 (Length of Life).
“I am pleased to see less years of productive life lost due to premature death,” said Garnar, “The Rankings help Broome County to clearly see and prioritize the challenges we face — whether it’s premature death rates or the growing drug overdose epidemic — so we can bring community leaders and residents together to find solutions.”
In the 2017 County Health Rankings, Broome County ranks 4th out of 62 counties in New York State for Physical Environment, which includes Air and Water Quality and Housing and Transit.
Also, Clinical Care in Broome County received high marks for 2017. Broome ranks 12th out of 62 counties for access to care and quality of care.
Broome County ranking highlights (scale: 62 counties in NYS):
- 4th in NYS for physical environment
- 12th in NYS for clinical care
- Decrease in teen births
- Uninsured rate dropped to 7% (from 10% in 2016 Rankings)
- Preventable hospital stays decreased
- High school graduation rate increased to 83% (from 81% in 2016)
The Rankings rely on a robust set of data and analysis that allows counties to see what is making residents healthy or sick and how counties compared to others within the state. The Rankings examine dozens of factors that influence health including (but not limited to) rates of premature death, smoking, obesity levels, childhood poverty, access to healthy foods, levels of physical activities and rates of high school graduation and college attendance.
“The variety and amount of data used in these Rankings is a reminder that good health is simply not just good medical care”, said Dr. Christopher Ryan, Medical Director, “This includes housing, education, jobs and more, all factors that communities can do something about. It’s about progress toward better health and change takes time.”
This year’s Rankings show some healthier trends in Broome County that are better than the statewide average for the following areas:
“With this week being National Public Health Week, this is a perfect opportunity to join forces and jumpstart our community to get moving and get healthier,” said Mary McFadden, Acting Director of Public Health, Broome County Health Department, “I am excited about the new Task Force that was created to enhance and expand our efforts to make Broome County a healthier community for everyone.”
The County Health Rankings are released annually and were first issued in 2010. The full rankings are available at www.countyhealthrankings.org.