The results are in: Howard County is the 10th healthiest in the nation as ranked by the U.S. News and World Reports in collaboration with the Aetna Foundation, a MACo Gold Corporate Partner, — a jump of 10 spots from where the county ranked in 2018.
As announced by U.S News and World Reports:
The second annual [Healthiest Communities] report and accompanying analysis are based on an evaluation of nearly 3,000 communities nationwide across 81 health-related metrics in 10 categories, from education and population health to infrastructure and environment. In addition to assessing which communities offer their citizens the greatest opportunity to live a productive, healthy life, the project serves as a tool to inform residents, health care leaders and elected officials about policies and best practices that help drive better health outcomes.
As reported in The Baltimore Business Journal eight other Maryland counties made the top 100:
Along with its top-of-list peers, the Maryland community earned high marks for its housing quality, overall health outcomes and low environmental hazards. It leads the state in several quality categories, including population health, education, economy and infrastructure.
Montgomery County was the only other Maryland community to make it into the top 100, ranking at No. 71. That’s 26 spots higher than last year.
Howard and Montgomery counties were also the only previously-listed Maryland communities to move up in the rankings from 2018.
County Executive Calvin Ball and Health Officer Maura Rossman share remarks in a Howard County press release:
Ball, who was the deciding vote as a Councilmember to make Howard County one of the first smoke-free counties in Maryland noted that, “we continue to invest in innovative health initiatives, partnerships and programs to make us a model healthy community and that’s one reason so many people want to live in Howard County. We are adding resources to combat addiction and teen suicide, providing weekend meals to school children of families in need, using technology such as CAREAPP to reduce health disparities, investing in our bikeway, and opening Howard House, a halfway house for men with substance use issues. While we have already made progress building a healthier and stronger community, with access to quality care, we can and will do better.”
“We continue to work collaboratively with our Local Health Improvement Coalition members across the county to encourage healthy behaviors like physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight,” said Howard County Health Officer Maura Rossman, M.D. “Behavioral health, healthy aging and access to healthcare are identified focus areas in which our partnerships play an important role in improving the populations health. We strive to ensure health equity is achieved by closing any gaps related to racial, gender, educational or economic status.”
For more information:
U.S. News and Aetna Foundation Release 2019 Healthiest Communities Rankings (U.S. News and World Reports)
U.S. News ranks Howard County a top 10 healthiest community, 8 other Md. communities make national list (Baltimore Business Journal)