MID-HUDSON – Rockland County is ranked the best in terms of health outcomes in the Hudson Valley, while Sullivan County has the worst, according to the latest annual report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.
While Rockland had the best outcomes in 2016, its ranking dropped to 3rd in this year’s study compared to 1st in 2015. Putnam County ranked 4th for outcomes this year, down from 2nd last year.
Westchester saw a slight improvement from 6th last year to 5th in 2016.
Columbia County improved from a ranking of 35th last year to 29th this year and Ulster County health outcomes improved from 21st in 2015 to 16th this year.
Dutchess ranked 10th in the current survey compared to 9th last year. Orange County’s ranking went from 20th in 2015 to 23rd this year.
Sullivan County, at 61st, remained the same as last year.
Only the Bronx had a lower ranking for health outcomes in the state.
Ulster County Executive Michael Hein has one objective in mind.
“We have an aggressive goal out and that is to become the healthiest county in New York State.”
Hein said Ulster’s is a community effort and he pointed to a number of
factors for the improvement in his county.
“We have a wonderful environment, we have the ability to get incredible clean air, clean water; access to high quality healthcare,” Hein said. “Ulster County is really becoming an extraordinary place and that is what we are so excited about.”
That is the same effort across the Hudson River in Dutchess County, said County Executive Marcus Molinaro.
“We have the goal of making Dutchess County the healthiest county in the State of New York and we are already long on our way to achieving that,” Molinaro said.
In Dutchess, Molinaro said they are focusing on population health.
“It is eating better, it is exercising, it is making healthier choices in one’s lifestyle,” he said. “But our goal is to merely provide the information and the resources to individuals to help them make those better choices and in the end, by improving the individual health, we improve the community health.”
Ulster County demonstrated the greatest improvement in overall rankings in health factors going from a 2015 ranking of 30th in the state to 19th in 2016.
Putnam County went from a ranking of 3rd last year to 2nd this year.
Westchester improved from a ranking of 5th last year to 3rd this year.
Dutchess County improved from a ranking of 10th last year to 7th this
year. Columbia County, at 13th, stayed the same. Orange County improved
to 18th from 21st last year. Greene County improved from 51st last year
to 43rd in 2016.
Rockland lost two positions, going from 6th best in the state to 8th and Sullivan County improved from 60th in the state last year to 59th.