Monday, September 15, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Report ranks Chester County as second healthiest in the state

WEST CHESTER Chester County is the second-healthiest in Pennsylvania, according to a joint report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin.

The report considered 29 factors that affect health, including smoking rates, access to medical care, unemployment, levels of physical activity, and access to healthy foods. Chester County ranked first in healthy behaviors and social and economic factors. It ranked 45th in physical environment factors, which included air-pollution and drinking-water violations.

Union County in central Pennsylvania was ranked No. 1.

Chester County has been one of the top three healthiest counties in Pennsylvania for the last five years. But it still needs to work on addressing issues such as racial disparity in the health of newborns, drug abuse, and lack of access to mental health services, said Frances Sheehan, head of the Brandywine Health Foundation in Coatesville.

"We have to use this foundation of strength to tackle some of those issues," she said.

Montgomery County ranked fifth. Bucks County ranked 10th. Delaware County ranked 41st, and Philadelphia County was last.

- Michaelle Bond

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