Brewster, NY—The ninth annual County Health Rankings have been released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and for the ninth year Putnam County ranks among the healthiest counties. Putnam is third in health factors, the influencers of health, up from last year’s fourth place ranking. In health outcomes, based on length and quality of life, this year Putnam was sixth, compared to fifth last year, from among the 62 counties in the state.
“Putnam County continues to be a great place to live and work. We are fortunate to live in a safe, beautiful environment with easy access to parks, recreation and healthy, fresh food. This helps residents maintain a good lifestyle which translates to our health,” said County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “We’ve declared 2019 the ‘Year of the Health Provider’ to honor the hard work of our nationally accredited health department and all the other county agencies and community organizations that work together to help residents remain healthy, safe and productive.”
“The consistency that our county has demonstrated in these annual rankings speaks for itself,” said Michael Nesheiwat M.D., Commissioner of Health. “The numbers always shift a bit. Changes in data collection and the performances of other counties affect the rankings. This data reconfirms much of what we already know and points to areas we will continue to work on.”
One of the identified challenges in the county is a higher rate of excessive alcohol use in Putnam compared to the rest of New York State. Alcohol-impaired driving deaths that had decreased from 27% to 22% last year, are back up to 28%. The health department continues to work on this pressing issue, working closely with two community organizations that spearhead the efforts, the Prevention Council of Putnam and the Communities That Care (CTC) coalition.
Similarly the numbers of sexually transmitted diseases rose, as they have around New York State and the United States. Left undiagnosed and untreated, these illnesses can have serious health consequences including infertility and in rare cases, even death. The PCDOH continues to spearhead prevention and surveillance efforts, including working closely with county physicians to increase routine testing.
For more information on the 2019 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, visit http://www.countyhealthrankings.org
The mission of the Putnam County Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit our County website at www.putnamcountyny.com ; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.