OWEGO — Tioga County is ranked 20 out of 62 counties in New York State for Health Outcomes. While this is a slight drop from the 2020 ranking of 16, Tioga County Public Health remains dedicated to improving the overallhealth of its community by focusing on areas for improvement. The County Health Rankings were established to help counties across the country see how they are preforming with regard to health status and what influences residents’ health.
Despite the detrimental effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been some notable improvements. There was a decrease in the percentage of adults (5%) who are without health insurance, while the percentage of uninsured children remained stagnant (2%). The county also saw a decrease in teen birth rates (21 per 1,000, 15 -19 year olds) compared to 2020 County Health Rankings data (23 per 1,000, 15 -19 year olds). There was a decrease in the drug overdose mortality rate (17 per 1,000) compared to previous years.
The percentage of children living in poverty reduced to 14%, as did the percentage of children receiving free or reduced lunch (49%). The percentage of obese adults also improved, as it dropped from 35% in 2020 to 32% in 2021. Mammography screenings also improved (48%) compared to (46%) the year before.
The county continues to target areas for improvement. Risky health behaviors put residents at-risk. Public health has seen a slight increase in motor vehicle crash deaths (10) compared to (8) in 2020. It also saw an increase in sexually transmitted infections (189.4) compared to (148.2) the year before.
“We continue to promote healthy lifestyles with a focus on prevention” says Lisa McCafferty, Tioga County Public Health Director “Maintaining healthy habits such as eating a balanced diet, managing stress, routine exercise, getting plenty of sleep, and practicing good hygiene are more important than ever.”
The County Health Rankings provide the county with opportunities to address areas of concern, and raise awareness of the county’s health priority areas through community outreach and education. Ongoing work with community partners includes Tioga Opportunities, Tobacco Free Broome and Tioga, Tioga County Allies in Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP), Anti-Hunger Task Force, Tioga Teens & Families, Team Tioga, Council of Governments, and the Family Enrichment Health Advisory Committee. Through these partnerships, the county hopes to continue educating and positively affecting the health of Tioga County.
For more information about the County Health Rankings and to compare Tioga County to other counties in New York State visit: https://www.countyhealthrankings.org