The most recent study of county-by-county health status in Maryland has concluded that Montgomery County is “the healthiest county in the state” for the sixth consecutive year. The report released this week is a collaboration of the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The County Health Rankings and Roadmaps program is designed to help communities identify and implement solutions that make it easier for people to be healthy in their schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods. Ranking the health of nearly every county in the nation, the researchers of the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps program state that it is their mission to “illustrate what we know when it comes to what is making people sick or healthy and the Roadmap shows what we can do to create healthier places to live, learn, work and play.
Following Montgomery in the ranking of Maryland’s 23 counties and the City of Baltimore were, respectively, Howard, Carroll, Frederick and Calvert counties.
“Montgomery County has been at the forefront in implementing a plethora of health-related initiatives in our region,” said Council President Nancy Navarro. “I am pleased to see that our efforts keep paying dividends in our goal of fostering a healthy society. I look forward to building on this work and continuing to promote good health for all our constituents.”
“Once again, Montgomery County is leading the way in health across the State of Maryland,” said Councilmember Gabe Albornoz, chair of the Council’s Health and Human Service Committee. “From mental health and the opioid crisis to developmental disabilities and the infant mortality rate, Montgomery County is promoting healthy living and a strong safety net of health services for those who struggle to afford care. As HHS Chair, I will do all that I can to expand on our success and ensure health equity amongst all of our residents.”
Initiatives over recent years that Montgomery County has been at the forefront in implementing to protect the health of its residents include requiring chain restaurants to publish calories and nutrition information on its menus; banning trans fats from restaurant food; and banning traditional smoking and the smoking of electronic cigarettes in outdoor services areas and in many public places.
The rankings look at a variety of measures that affect health, such as high school graduation rates, access to healthy foods, rates of smoking, obesity and teen births. Based on data available for each county, the researchers claim their rankings “are unique in their ability to measure the overall health of each county in all 50 states.”
More information on the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps program is available at its website.