March 26, 2015

Montgomery Ranked Healthiest County in Maryland


Montgomery County ranks as the healthiest jurisdiction in Maryland according to the sixth annual County Health Rankings released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI).

Overall, the five healthiest counties, after Montgomery, are Howard, Frederick, Carroll and St. Mary's. The five jurisdictions with the poorest health ratings -- starting with the least healthy -- are Baltimore City and Caroline, Cecil, Allegany and Somerset counties.

“This ranking didn't happen by accident," said County Executive Ike Leggett. “The County, working with our many community partners, is focused on making sure that all County residents get access to adequate health care. Through our extensive park system and our recreational activities for young, old and in-between we encourage physical activity and wellness.

“We were a pioneer in assuring smoke-free restaurants and have encouraged businesses to make more information available to customers so they can make healthy choices,” Leggett noted. “Our Local Liquor Control helps us to better protect the public health and discourage underage drinking while also facilitating the sale of a legal product – and making sure dollars stay here in the County to support County services.”

“I am pleased with our ranking as the healthiest county in Maryland,” said Dr. Ulder J. Tillman, County health officer. “Through our community health improvement process, Healthy Montgomery, we have partnerships with our six hospitals, school system and other community-based organizations, and we continue to work diligently to address issues that remain challenging for some residents in our community.

“Our County Executive has made it a priority to make Montgomery County a healthy and sustainable community for all our residents," Dr. Tillman said. “We have reason to be proud, but the work of improving and maintaining the health of a community is a continuing focus for us.”

See the Rankings at www.countyhealthrankings.org.

According to the news release from the RWJF, “…this year's Rankings show that the healthiest counties in each state have higher college attendance, fewer preventable hospital stays, and better access to parks and gyms. The least healthy counties in each state have more smokers, more teen births, and more alcohol related car crash deaths. This report also looks at distribution in income and the links between income levels and health.”

The release also notes that “Rankings are an easy-to-use snapshot comparing the health of nearly every county in the nation. The local-level data allows each state to see how its counties compare on 30 factors that influence health including education, housing, violent crime, jobs, diet, and exercise.”

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