Liberty, NY – US News and World Report has released a set of nationwide county health rankings, similar to those released earlier this year by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).
Division of Health & Human Services Commissioner John Liddle noted several key takeaways from the data posted at www.usnews.com/news/healthiest-communities/new-york/sullivan-county:
- Sullivan County ranks 58 out of NYS’ 62 counties, as compared to RWJF’s 61 out of 62.
- Under the US News ranking system, the strongest factor suppressing Sullivan County’s score is housing, which is measured in terms of affordability, capacity, and quality.
- Sullivan County sits in the top half of rural counties nationwide in terms of the quality of community health.
“Both sets of rankings tell us that we are correctly focused on the most urgent issues – easing access to health care, ending the opioid pandemic, enhancing community with better education, housing, childcare, and encouraging healthier behaviors,” Liddle commented. “What was most striking about U.S. News and World Report’s take on our situation is that our lack of quality, affordable housing is what really puts us behind other New York counties.
“We’ve been working very hard on this issue with partners across the government and in the community, and I encourage everyone to get involved in the solution by checking out www.sullivanhousingstudy.org and offering your thoughts.”
Liddle appreciated the chance to get a “second opinion” on the County’s health rankings.
“We have a lot more work to do, but it’s also encouraging to know that it is not our destiny to be stuck at the very bottom of New York’s counties from a health perspective,” he said. “There are a lot of people focused on these issues right now, and with continued public support and advocacy, I’m optimistic we will, slowly but surely, continue to improve our community health.”