National report: Franklin County healthiest in Maine

Local public health advocacy credited;

neighboring Oxford County ranks last

A new national report compares county-level health factors in every state and identifies public health assets and liabilities in each of Maine’s 16 counties.

The report, released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, ranks rural Franklin County as the healthiest in Maine, with the lowest rates of premature death, poor mental and physical health, and babies born at a low birth weight. Neighboring Oxford County is ranked the least healthy.

Hancock County ranks second-healthiest in Maine while abutting Washington County, identified in a similar 2007 report as one of the least healthy counties in the United States, ranks second from the bottom.

“There are no surprises in this report,” said Dr. Dora Anne Mills, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Each county in Maine, she said, faces public health challenges as well as boasting strengths and successes.

“Improving economic and educational attainment are very important public health strategies,” Mills said, but Maine’s experience shows that public health is influenced by a number of variables.

Click on the link for the rest of the story by Meg Haskell of the Bangor Daily News.

Updated info:

Here’s a link to the website where you can check out the rankings in more details. Just click on “Find Health Rankings” to the right on the orange navigation bar and input the county or state to get more detailed information. Here’s the link to the County Health Rankings.

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