The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute ranked Rockland County first in New York State for healthy living in 2015. Mailman School Executive Masters degree candidate in Healthcare Management and Rockland County’s Health Commissioner, Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, was recognized for spearheading the county’s coordinated efforts aimed at healthy eating and an active lifestyle that lead to a unified community commitment to better health.
“The report demonstrates that Rockland residents are living more healthy lives,” said Dr. Schnabel Ruppert, who is also an assistant professor of clinical Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. “It reflects the great strides our County is making, the high priority placed on our residents’ health and our successful partnerships with community and faith organizations, health care providers, schools, worksites, and municipalities to promote a healthy and safe Rockland County. We are committed to continue to work to improve the health of all of our residents.”
The 2015 County Health Rankings show how well counties are doing on 30 factors that influence health, including percent of people who report being in poor physical and mental health, percent of low birth weight babies, smoking and obesity rates, physical inactivity, excessive drinking, sexually transmitted infections, access to health care and unemployment and education levels. Rockland County is ranked first in health behaviors and first in overall health in New York State, up from third place last year.
The county, which enacted a tobacco prevention, education, and cessation program, Put It Out Rockland, in 2001, has the lowest adult smoking rate in New York State (9 percent). The county is continuing to reduce the years of potential life lost by residents before age 75 and shows great improvement in reducing the number of preventable hospital stays and increasing the number of residents with health insurance. The rankings also indicate the county has increased the percentage of screening for diabetes and female residents getting mammograms.