2013 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

March 20, 2013        Print version

Dutchess County is Ranked as one of New York’s Healthiest Counties

Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County continues to be one of the healthiest counties in NY according to the County Health Rankings released by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  Dutchess County ranks 9th for overall health outcomes (how healthy we are) and 9th in Health Factors (how healthy we can be) among all New York State counties. The first County Health Rankings report was issued in 2010. Each year, Dutchess County has finished near or in the top ten of 62 counties in New York State.

Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro said, “This ranking shows our continued focus on healthy policies and investments has a positive impact on the health of our community. Access to our smoke free, recreational facilities like the Dutchess and Harlem Valley Rail Trail as well as our other smoke free county parks, the HeartSafe program, nutrition programs and more  all help to add to the health and quality of life for both our residents and visitors .”

The County Health Rankings is the first report to rank the overall health of the counties in all 50 states by using a standard formula to measure how healthy people are and how long they live. Researchers use several measures to assess the level of overall health or “health outcomes” including:

  • The rate of people dying before age 75
  • The percentage of people who report being in fair or poor health
  • The number of days people report being in poor physical or mental health
  • The rate of low birth weight infants.

The report also reviewed factors that impact health outcomes in four category areas, health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors and physical environment. Health factors are influenced by community based programs and policies. People who live in Dutchess County with smoke free laws and abundant park and recreational space are likely to benefit from less exposure to second hand smoke and more opportunity for physical activity.

Besides basic “health factors”, the  researchers examined indicators such as binge drinking, teen age pregnancy, the number of uninsured adults, the rates of high school graduation, the number of children in poverty, the rates of violent crime, access to healthy food, air pollution levels and liquor store density.

“The rankings help us to understand what factors have influenced good health in our community, said Michael C. Caldwell, MD, MPH, Dutchess County’s Commissioner of Health. “With this knowledge, we can continue to take steps to improve the health of all our County residents as we work with our partners to ensure a healthy quality of life here in Dutchess County.”

The entire report, which is available online at www.countyhealthrankings.org  includes a snapshot of each county in New York State with a color coded map comparing each county’s health rating along with ideas to create healthier places to live, work and play.




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