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Sullivan County nearly most unhealthy; Pike and Wayne fare better on nationwide health ratings

By Fritz Mayer
April 10, 2012

UPPER DELAWARE VALLEY — In the latest County Health Ratings issued by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, Sullivan County in New York came in as nearly the least healthiest in New York, ranking 61 out of 62 in terms of health outcomes.
Across the river in Pennsylvania, Wayne County had a slightly better position, coming in at 54 out of 67 counties; and Pike County had the best ranking of the three, with a ranking of 12 out of 67.

The rankings are published online at www.countyhealthrankings.org. According to the organization, “The rankings assess the overall health of nearly every county in all 50 states, using a standard way to measure how healthy people are and how long they live. The rankings consider factors that affect people’s health within four categories: health behavior, clinical care, social and economic factors and physical environment.”

The rankings began in 2010, and this year there are new categories that affect the health of communities, such as the amount of fast food restaurants in every county (in Sullivan, 38% of the restaurants are fast food; in Pike, the amount is 32%; and in Wayne, it’s 28%).

“After three years, we’ve learned that people across the entire nation want to know how the health of their county compares to others in their state. This annual check-up helps bring county leaders together to see where they need to improve,” said Patrick Remington, M.D., professor and associate dean at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. “It’s really exciting to see that the rankings continue to serve as a call to action to take steps to improve the health of communities.”