2012 News Releases

Department of Behavioral & Community Health

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For More Information Contact:
Michael C. Caldwell, MD, MPH, Commissioner of Health
(845) 486-3432

April 5, 2012        Print version

Dutchess County Department of Health issues 2012 Community Health Status Report

“Dutchess County is one of the healthiest counties in New York State,” says Commissioner of Health, Michael C. Caldwell, MD, MPH, following the release of Dutchess County’s 2012 Community Health Status Report as part of National Public Health Week.

The annual report provides a profile of Dutchess County’s community health and pulls together selected health indicators including Access to Health Care; Birth Measures; Morbidity (illness); and Mortality (Death) Measures.   The report may be found on the Dutchess County website at www.dutchessny.gov.

“The data provided in our annual report help measure the impact of the public health initiatives, and identify areas in need of intervention,” said Caldwell.   This year, the Community Health Status Report features additional statistics, including Immigrant Health access to care information, causes of motor vehicle injuries/deaths and childhood obesity indicators.

Body Mass Index (BMI) data for children indicate Dutchess County is not isolated from the national trend of childhood obesity. The Department of Health continues to work with local schools and youth programs to encourage healthy behaviors and establish an environment that provides nutrition education and daily physical activity. As part of the observance of National Public Health Week, the Department of Health has been focusing on messaging about the importance of eating healthier and exercising regularly and has been encouraging residents to utilize local resources, including farmer markets, the Rail Trails and the Walkway over the Hudson as part of healthier lifestyles.

Commissioner Caldwell pointed to the Department of Health’s partnership with the Annual Great Halloween Candy Exchange Program as a good example of how families can reinforce the values of sharing, literacy, and the importance of physical activity to prevent childhood obesity. The day after Halloween, children donate a pound of Halloween trick-or-treat candy to be shipped to U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq in exchange for a book or a pass to centers such as Roller Magic, McCann Ice Arena, or All Sport Health and Fitness. “This program has been very popular and really helps to get the message out keeping physically fit and eating in moderation,” said Caldwell.

The Dutchess County Annual Community Health Status Report also includes information about the 2012 National County Health Rankings which was released earlier this week by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.  The University has collaborated with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to develop these rankings for every county in the U.S. using various measures, including “Health Outcomes” (how healthy we are) and “Health Factors” (how healthy we can be) to assess the level of overall health.  Dutchess County ranks an impressive 9th in New York State for overall Health Outcomes and 10th for overall Health Factors.

Dr Caldwell stated: “Our annual Community Health Status Report provides us with an opportunity to make people aware of steps we are taking to improve the health of our residents, like the HEART Safe program which promotes and supports CPR training in the community, and Public access to defibrillation through strategic placement of automated external defibrillators (AEDs).”

“Health is everyone’s business,” concluded Commissioner Caldwell.   “Working together, we can make Dutchess County a healthier place to live, learn, work and play.”





A. K. Vaidian, MD, MPH,Commissioner of Behavioral & Community Health A. K. Vaidian, MD, MPH
Commissioner of Behavioral & Community Health
Dutchess County Seal