Oakland County among top for health behaviors

For the third consecutive year, Oakland County ranks second in the state for health behaviors and in the top five for overall key factors that affect health, according to the County Health Rankings Report released Wednesday. County Executive L. Brooks Patterson credits this achievement to his administration’s focus on quality of life initiatives including the hard work and commitment of the Oakland County Health Division’s numerous community collaborative efforts to improve health.

“Maintaining active and healthy lifestyles are at the heart of our public health programs and quality of life initiatives,” Patterson said. “The Brooksie Way Half Marathon; the Fuel Up To Play 60 initiative, which fights child obesity; and coalitions such as Healthy Oakland Partnership and Healthy Pontiac, We Can! all work together to make Oakland County a healthier place to live, work, play and raise a family.”

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 first year since the rankings began, the county is one of the top 15 healthiest counties in Michigan, ranking ahead of neighboring Wayne and Macomb counties in health outcomes.

“We measure up well for many key factors that affect health,” said Kathy Forzley, Health Division manager/health officer. “These results reflect our commitment to the overall health and quality of life for 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 significantly improved in the quality of life measure, moving to the top 25 in the state. The report highlights key health factors that affect health, including health behaviors, access to and quality of clinical care, social and economic factors and physical environment. For more 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.

For up-to-date public health information, visit www.oakgov.com/health, follow the Health Division on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter @publichealthOC, or call Nurse on Call at 800-848-5533.

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