Report on NYS county health statuses released
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SOUTHERN TIER, N.Y. -- A University of Wisconsin report on health rankings shows that people in the Southern Tier need to start taking better care of their bodies. The study measures healthy behaviors by county, and ranks them in every state.
Of the 62 counties in New York, Tompkins County ranked third, Tioga County was 15th. But the region's largest counties didn't fare as well: Broome was listed 48th and neighboring Chemung County came in at 60.
Chemung County health officials say the mortality and morbidity rates are bringing their numbers down because they have a lot of people with long-term illnesses. The county has one of the highest smoking rates in the state as well.
Health officials say the report is only a guide to improve for the future.
"We have a lot to offer in Chemung County, where the challenge is getting people to take advantage of those, particularly the people who's in the greatest need, for example, people who are overweight or who smoke," said Robert Page, Chemung County Public Health Director.
Chemung County had improved ratings in the environmental and access to healthcare categories.