NH DHHS - Grafton County Ranked Healthiest in NH

Coos County in Poorest Health, According to National Report

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is announcing the results of a national study called County Health Rankings. The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released the study, which is the first of its kind to rank the overall health of the counties in all 50 states by using a standard formula to measure how healthy people are and how long they live. The report ranks Grafton County the healthiest county in New Hampshire, and Coos County as the least healthy county in the State.

“This report shows us that there are differences in overall health across New Hampshire’s counties, due to many factors, ranging from individual behavior to quality of health care, to education and jobs, to access to healthy foods, and to quality of the air,” says Patrick Remington, MD, MPH, Associate Dean for Public Health, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. “For the first time, every person can compare the overall health of their county to the health of other counties in New Hampshire, and also see where the state needs to improve.”

“This report is not about who ranks highest or lowest, it’s about being able to use this information to address the specific needs of a region,” said New Hampshire’s Public Health Director Dr. José Montero. “It’s our hope that our regional and local partners will use this to see what is impacting the health of the people who live and work there. We see this as an opportunity for communities to rally together to find solutions that will help improve the lives of their residents.”

New Hampshire’s County ranks are as follows:

1.Grafton County

2.Rockingham County

3.Merrimack County

4.Cheshire County

5.Hillsborough County

6.Belknap County

7.Strafford County

8.Carroll County

9.Sullivan County

10.Coos County

The County Health Rankings show us that where we live matters to our health. The health of a community depends on many different factors – ranging from individual health behaviors, education and jobs, to quality of health care, to the environment. The study compares the multiple factors that influence local health, so that people can see where they are doing well and where they need to improve.

While this county-by-county comparison is useful it should be noted in New Hampshire, most public health services are not organized by county. New Hampshire has been moving towards organizing public health services by 15 designated Public Health Regions also know as All Health Hazard Regions. The NH Department of Health and Human Services is currently planning for a state health report, which will analyze health status by public health regions. It may incorporate indicators from the county health rankings report but other indicators are being considered to make the report most valuable for assessing our public health priorities. The study’s authors have offered to consult with New Hampshire on this process. The results of this further report are expected to be available at some point in the coming year.

To view the report visit www.countyhealthrankings.org

It includes a snapshot of each county in with a color-coded map comparing each county’s overall health ranking.