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Poughkeepsie… The Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) has released its Annual Community Health Status Report, detailing updated trends across a broad range of health outcomes and other factors that influence physical and mental health. The report also explores health disparities and provides comparisons with the rest of upstate New York State counties and Healthy People 2020 goals.
As Dutchess County looks to achieve its ambitious goal of becoming the healthiest county in New York State in the next decade, the Community Health Status Report is one barometer for tracking future success, providing the county with a baseline by which future achievements will be measured.
“The Community Health Status Report shows Dutchess County making continued improvement in driving down the rates of death and hospitalization from chronic diseases, including heart disease, the nation’s number one killer,” said DBCH Commissioner Henry M. Kurban, MD, MBA, MPH, FACPM. “However, the report also shows the challenges we face with the heroin epidemic, with far too many lives being lost.”
This year’s report includes expanded data on the role of heroin and opioids in fatal and non-fatal overdoses. Additional information can be found on the County’s website in the 2015 Update to the County Executive, published by the Dutchess County Health and Human Services Cabinet’s Substance Abuse Workgroup.
Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro said, “Opioid and heroin abuse and addiction is this nation’s biggest public health challenge. In this county and state, we have reached epidemic status as too many are falling prey to the demons of addiction and losing their lives to overdose. We must mobilize all our resources at all levels to address this behavioral, physical, and public health challenge – with understanding and support, policy and insurance reforms and coalition building. More must be done in order to save lives.”
Other highlights of the 2016 Community Health Status Report include continued declines in the percent of residents without health insurance, sustained low rates of teen pregnancy, and further progress in childhood lead testing rates. Additional challenges include lasting disparities in smoking rates and chronic disease outcomes, rising STD rates, and persistent elevated rates of tick-borne illnesses compared with the rest of upstate New York.
DBCH continues its work to engage with providers and community partners on the prevention of communicable diseases as well as tick-borne illnesses that are prevalent in the region, particularly Lyme disease, while also continuously monitoring for new threats such as the Zika virus.
To review the 2016 Community Health Status Report, click here or learn more about the various programs and services offered through the Department of Behavioral and Community, visit www.dutchessny.gov.