Updated 04/04/2012 07:22 PM
Sullivan County ranked one of the unhealthiest counties in state
Sullivan County is one of the unhealthiest counties in the state, according to a recently released county health rankings report. Our Venise Toussaint has more on what factors contributed to the findings.
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SULLIVAN COUNTY, N.Y. -- It’s shocking to some that Sullivan County could be ranked one of the least healthy in the state.
According to a nationwide study conducted by the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Sullivan County comes in next to last in New York State when it comes to health.
“We have a huge epidemic of drug abuse and that would certainly correlate into poor standards of health,” said one Liberty resident.
The ranking is based on factors like quality and access to health care, health behaviors, like smoking, and alcohol use and economic factors, like education and income.
“Income effects health. Where you have income disparities, you have health disparities and it’s one of the big challenges in Sullivan County," said Sullivan County Public Health Director Carol Ryan.
The study also took into account factors not typically looked at when conducting health studies, like accidental drug overdoses, college and high school graduation rates and violent crime.
“It helps you understand and include areas that have never been taken into account before, but impact heath,” Ryan said.
This is the third year in a row that Sullivan County has ranked 61 out of 62 New York Counties. Putnam count tops the list as the healthiest, while Bronx County comes in at the bottom of the list.