County ranks second in the state for health behaviors

Oakland County ranks number two for health behaviors among 82 Michigan counties for the second year in a row, according to the County Health Rankings Report released Wednesday. County Executive L. Brooks Patterson attributed this accomplishment to county initiatives that improve quality of life for residents and a strong public health program.

“Maintaining active and healthy lifestyles is at the heart of our public health programs and quality of life initiatives,” Patterson said. “The Brooksie Way Half Marathon, Brooksie Way Minigrants, Fuel Up To Play 60, and our employee wellness program OakFit are working together to make Oakland County a healthier place to live, work and play.”

Oakland County has improved or maintained its position in 29 areas of measure in the County Health Rankings Report produced by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. Those areas include quality of life, health behaviors, adult smoking, adult obesity, teen birth rate, unemployment and violent crime rate. In addition, for the sixth year in a row the county remains one of the top 25 healthiest counties in Michigan, ranking ahead of neighboring Wayne and Macomb counties.

“We measure up well for many key factors that affect health,” said Kathy Forzley, Oakland County Health Division manager/health officer. “These results reflect our commitment to improving the overall health and quality of life for our residents.”

The report is the only tool of its kind that measures the overall health of the nation’s more than 3,100 counties. Oakland County came in ninth overall for health factors, which is measured with four key categories, including health behavior, access to and quality of clinical care, social and economic factors and physical environment. For additional information about the health rankings or to review the report, go to oakgov.com/health.

Oakland County Health Division has a variety of programs and services that support healthy lifestyles by promoting and encouraging healthy behaviors; improving infant health; increasing accessibility of health services; ensuring a safe and clean environment; preparing for emergencies; and reducing the threat and preventing the spread of diseases.