Geneseo, NY, March 14, 2018 – For a second year in a row, Livingston County ranked the 9th healthiest in New York State, according to the ninth annual County Health Rankings, released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI). All Rankings can be found at www.countyhealthrankings.org.
An easy-to-use snapshot that compares counties within states, the Rankings show that where you live influences how well and how long you live. The local-level data make it clear that good health is influenced by many factors beyond medical care including housing, education, and jobs. This year’s new Rankings State Reports show meaningful gaps in health persist not only by place, but also by race and ethnicity. Looking at differences by place and race offers a more complete picture of health. This year’s analyses show that lack of opportunity, such as education, jobs, and affordable housing, disproportionately affects people of color across the nation and state.
The new Rankings State Reports call attention to key drivers of health such as children in poverty. Poverty limits opportunity and increases the chance of poor health. Children in poverty are less likely to have access to well-resourced and quality schools, and have fewer chances to be prepared for living wage jobs. Our children will become more resilient, and grow into stronger, healthier adults with greater economic opportunities if we build communities with quality education, emotional and social support, access to quality health care, and safe, affordable, and stable housing.
Livingston County Administrator, Ian M. Coyle, states, “We are pleased that Livingston County is again one of the top ten healthiest counties with several areas of strength, which includes low rates of children in poverty and uninsured individuals, as these are important indicators of health equity. Livingston County continues to be innovative and collaborative, which are vital to creating a healthier community”.
In addition to several social and economic factors area, Livingston County has strengths in the health outcome areas such as quality of life and length of life. Other areas of strength include low rates of sexually transmitted infections, teen births and injury deaths. Areas for improvement in the matters of health behaviors include adult smoking and adult obesity and clinical care, which include primary care physicians. The Livingston County Community Health Improvement Plan continues to focus on initiatives regarding chronic disease prevention, mental health promotion and substance abuse prevention, and fall prevention among seniors, which correlate to the areas mentioned above. For more information on the Community Health Assessment, please visit www.livingstoncounty.us/doh.htm.
“We can’t be a healthy, thriving nation if we continue to leave entire communities and populations behind,” said Richard Besser, MD, RWJF president and CEO. “Every community should use their County Health Rankings data, work together, and find solutions so that all babies, kids, and adults – regardless of their race or ethnicity – have the same opportunities to be healthy.”
“The time is now to address long-standing challenges like child poverty,” said Julie Willems Van Dijk, PhD, RN, director of County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. “This year’s Rankings are a call to action to see how these persistent health gaps play out locally, take an honest look at their root causes, and work together to give everyone a fair shot at a healthier life.”