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Entries in Counties (5)


NH DHHS - County Health Rankings 

According to a New Report, Rockingham County Is the

Healthiest in the State; Coos County Still Poorest in Health

Steps New Hampshire Is Taking to Address the Issues

Concord, NH – Rockingham County remains the healthiest county in New

Hampshire, while Coos County continues to rank as the least healthy in the

fifth annual County Health Rankings, released today by the Robert Wood

Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health

Institute (UWPHI), which looks at every county in the United States. This

year’s rankings are broken out into two overall measures for the first

time: Health Outcomes, which measure how healthy a county is, and Health

Factors, which look at the influences on health in any given county. For

Health Factors, Rockingham is still leading and Coos is still at the

greatest disadvantage. The positions of the other counties, however, are

very different in each category.

The Rankings, available at , include a snapshot

of each county in New Hampshire with a color-coded map comparing each

county’s overall health ranking. Researchers looked at the length and

quality of life to determine Health Outcomes. Health Factors include

measures of health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors,

and physical environment.

“This report emphasizes that where you live can have a direct impact on

your health,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at the New

Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. “We know the specific

factors that can shorten someone’s life, such as smoking and poor diet, but

we often fail to realize the other factors that can contribute to our

longevity, such as access to and the quality of healthcare, how walkable

neighborhoods are, how clean our air and water are, and how safe the

community is where we live. Here in New Hampshire, there is some exciting

work being done to help make changes in public health at the local and

regional levels, such as the State Health Improvement Plan and the Public

Health Advisory Councils in our thirteen Public Health Regions.”

The State Health Improvement Plan ( ) as released in 2013 and

is the result of months of work by many partners and organizations that

identified 10 priority areas for improvement with measureable objectives

and targets for health outcomes, areas for needed attention in public

health capacity, and recommendations for evidence-based interventions and

actions. It is intended to provide support, guidance, and focus for

communities throughout the State and act as the roadmap for public health

going forward with the aim of significantly improving the health of the

people of New Hampshire.

At a regional level, 13 local agencies are funded to host a regional Public

Health Network ( ). These community-based

partnerships help provide public health infrastructure and were aligned in

2013 with the substance misuse prevention system in New Hampshire. That

alignment has led to a new initiative to convene a Public Health Advisory

Council in each region, which are intended to establish regional public

health priorities based on assessments of community health; improve

efficiency through coordination of public health activities; and leverage

the strengths of individual entities working on various health improvement


For more information about the Division of Public Health Services visit the

DHHS website at


NH DHHS - Annual Rankings Show Where State Counties Do Well and Opportunities for Improvement

Concord, NH – Rockingham County is now the healthiest county in New

Hampshire, displacing Merrimack County as last year’s healthiest, according

to the third annual County Health Rankings, released today by the Robert

Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population

Health Institute (UWPHI). Grafton County has taken second after Rockingham

this year. According to the Rankings, residents of Coos County have almost

twice the rate of premature deaths and three times the rate of children

living in poverty as residents of Rockingham County.

The Rankings, available at, include a snapshot

of each county in New Hampshire with a color-coded map comparing each

county’s overall health ranking. Researchers used five measures to assess

the level of overall health or “health outcomes” for New Hampshire by

county: the rate of people dying before age 75, the percentage of people

who report being in fair or poor health, the numbers of days people report

being in poor physical and poor mental health, and the rate of

low birth weight infants.

The Rankings also consider factors that affect people’s health within four

categories: health behavior, clinical care, social and economic factors,

and physical environment. Among the many health factors they look at: rates

of adult smoking, adult obesity, excessive drinking among adults, and

teenage births; the number of uninsured under age 65, availability of

primary care physicians, and preventable hospital stays; rates of high

school graduation, adults who have attended some college, children in

poverty; community safety; limited access to healthy foods; rates of

physical inactivity; and air pollution levels.

The County Health Rankings rank the overall health of nearly every county

in all 50 states. They Rankings allow counties to see how they compare to

other counties within each State based on a range of factors that influence

health including high school graduation rates, obesity, smoking, and family

and social support. This year’s Rankings include new measures, such as how

many dentists are in a community per resident.

“This report unfortunately confirms that the health of the residents of

Coos and Sullivan Counties lags behind the rest of the State,” said New

Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Public Health

Director Dr. José Montero. “There is room for improvement in Strafford,

Belknap, and Carroll Counties as well. We plan to use this and other data

we have collected to work toward change in these markers of health for all

the citizens of New Hampshire.”

This report is complementary to the New Hampshire State Health Profile the

Division of Public Health Services released two years ago. Last year DPHS

also released the 2011 Snapshot of New Hampshire’s Public Health Regions,

Counties, and the Cities of Manchester and Nashua. This snapshot, a

companion document to the 2011 New Hampshire State Health Profile, is meant

to assist community leaders and to identify priority health issues in their

communities. The 2011 Snapshot also confirms that Coos County fares worse

than the State in areas such as obesity, binge drinking, teen birth rates,

and access to primary care providers.

To view the entire 2011 New Hampshire State Profile, go to . The Snapshot

Report is available online at . For

more information about the Division of Public Health Services visit the

DHHS website at .


Governor Hassan Announces New Hampshire Counties Have Received Federal Major Disaster Declaration for February Storm 

Office of New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan

CONCORD, N.H. –Governor Maggie Hassan announced today that President Obama has granted New Hampshire’s request for a major disaster declaration for the severe winter storm that occurred February 8-10.


The declaration covers Belknap, Carroll, Cheshire, Hillsborough, Merrimack, Rockingham, Strafford and Sullivan counties. It will provide for reimbursement of 75 percent of the expenses of responding to the record and near-record snowfalls by the state and municipal governments and eligible non-profit organizations.


“February’s storm put a significant strain on our local communities, and the ongoing winter weather has pushed snow removal budgets to the limits,” Governor Hassan said. “The major declaration will allow communities to apply for critical funds that will help provide relief and replenish resources.”


The statewide cost of responding to the storm was estimated at nearly $5 million.


The disaster assistance will be managed by the N.H. Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Applicant briefings for entities seeking disaster assistance will be held the week of April 1.

An important criterion in determining eligibility for disaster aid is whether a county has received record or near-record snowfall. Carroll County received 30.5 inches of snow during the storm, an increase of 160 percent over the previous record of 19 inches. Hillsborough County received 25.5 inches and Rockingham County received 24.1 inches during the storm.


NH House Republican Leader Comments on Bill to Allow Counties to Adopt County Income Tax 

CONCORD – Today House Republican Leader Gene G. Chandler (R-Bartlett) offered the following comments relative to the public hearing on House Bill 330, a bill that would allow counties to adopt a county income tax to be administered by the Department of Revenue Administration (DRA).

House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett)

“This is a great example of the legislative process in New Hampshire. You can file any bill, no matter how frivolous and it will get a fair and open public hearing. We appreciate Rep. Burridge’s candor in his legislation, but I just can’t imagine this bill has any chance of survival. New Hampshire has a proud tradition of being income tax free. We intend on keeping the entire state, including Rep. Burridge’s county, income tax free.”

May092010 - Rep. Cunningham calls SB450 a "garbage can"

New Hampshire Representative Steven Cunningham writes in his May 8, 2010 column on,

"What else to call Senate Bill 450 than a "garbage can." ... everything good or bad has been attached to this bill as an amendment at the last minute." "The state stops sending revenue money to the counties and towns that normally share it. Now the county charges the towns for the missing money and the towns raise property taxes for both. Who pays?"

All media are welcome to use all or part of Representative Cunningham's May 8, 2010 column with attribution to (

Steven Cunningham represents the towns of Springfield, Croydon, Newport, Goshen and Washington in the NH House of Representatives, and he is a member of the House Committee on Municipal and County Government. is the only non-commercial, community service, online source for local town reporting, news, information and discussion for the Lake Sunapee region of New Hampshire... since July, 2008.