Montgomery County Gets Top Rating, Philadelphia Places Last in New Study of Pennsylvania Health

By Brian X. McCrone

Original Article

Montgomery County placed at the top of a newly-released study of health by county in Pennsylvania, ranking first in a category that measures smoking and obesity rates, clinical care options and poverty.

Philadelphia finished dead last in both the "Health Factors" and "Health Outcomes" categories of the study that analyzed all 67 counties in Pennsylvania, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which conducted the analysis.

Montgomery County finished first in the "Health Factors" category and fourth in "Health Outcomes," which measures length and quality of life, the report said.

"We are especially proud that we lead the rankings in areas in which our county health services have a direct influence – reducing rates of smoking, obesity, food insecurity, teen pregnancy, children in poverty, and sexually transmitted disease,” said Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, chairwoman of the Montgomery County board of commissioners and an anesthesiologist. “The report showcases that investments in these areas yields real rewards and that we, as a nation and a county, must continue to fund those programs that support the health and well-being of Montgomery County residents.”

Chester County did even better than Montgomery County overall, placing first in "Health Outcomes" and third in "Health Factors." Bucks County also did well, placing sixth and second in those categories, respectively.

More News

'I couldn't believe I was doing it': Addicted towns of Pa.

Rather than seeing the number of deaths accelerate by 50 percent, as Montgomery had last year at this time, 2017’s mid-point total shows a slight yet significant 4 percent decrease.

Read More

'We're a joke': Life in the nation's most gerrymandered district

“I just think it’s crazy; there’s no other name for it,” said Val Arkoosh, who chairs the powerful Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. Whenever a major issue requiring congressional action arises, Arkoosh’s staff has to coordinate with five separate offices on Capitol Hill because the county is split among five districts. 

Read More

With less local news coverage, who'll keep an eye on government officials?

“Not too long ago, the press room in our courthouse had, on any given day, 12 to 16 reporters filing stories every day. Today that number is two,” says Commissioner Val Arkoosh of the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown.

Read More