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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, 2013        Print version


Dutchess County Department of Health issues 2013 Community Health Status Report

“This is our seventh Annual Status Report,” says Commissioner of Health, Michael C. Caldwell, MD, MPH, following the release of Dutchess County’s 2013 Community Health Status Report as part of National Public Health Week. “Our goal is to make information about the community’s health more accessible to our residents, and to solicit citizens’ participation in engaging in healthy behaviors.”

The Annual Report provides a snapshot 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 compares certain County data to the National Healthy people 2020 objectives. Healthy People 2020 contains 42 topic areas with nearly 600 objectives which encompasses 1,200 measures.

This year, the Status Report demonstrates that births outcomes continue to measure up to the Healthy People 2020 goals. More and more mothers are choosing to stop smoking during pregnancy. The Report also features some of the preliminary results of the Community Health survey conducted in 2012 by the Health Department. The majority of residents report that they have a primary care provider.  However, among those who do not, close to a third feel that they do not require a primary care provider. Primary care and the patient-centered medical home have been identified as keys to improving health care quality and achieving billions in health care cost savings during the next decade. “Clearly, we need to continue our efforts to link people to primary care providers, through outreach as well as individual education and referral,” said Dr. Caldwell.

The Annual Report also reflects opiate drug use admissions of 18-24 year olds to licensed rehab facilities, an issue which has become a national concern. New York State recently enacted the I-STOP law to help address prescription drug abuse. The new law requires all prescriptions to be electronically transmitted and includes a "real time" prescription monitoring registry. The law also requires the State Department of Health to establish a safe disposal program for unused medications. The Dutchess County Department of Health has offered education courses to the medical community and has supported the Drug Take Back day events.  In addition, Public Health Nurses offer guidance to the families during home visits for pain management and safeguarding prescriptions.

The Dutchess County Annual Community Health Status Report also includes information about the 2013 National County Health Rankings released in March 2013, by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. Dutchess County ranks an impressive 9th in New York State among 62 counties for overall Health Outcomes (how healthy we are) and 9th for overall Health Factors (how healthy we can be).

“Working together, we can make Dutchess County a healthier place to live, learn, and work,” concluded Commissioner Caldwell.

The report may be found on the Dutchess County website at http://www.co.dutchess.ny.us/CountyGov/Departments/Health/Publications/HD2013CommunityHealthStatusReport.pdf.

 

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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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