Franklin County 10th in state health rankings

Hampden County ranked last of the state's 14 counties in terms of health

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Local leaders and state legislators came together Friday in Greenfield to discuss the release of the 2017 national county health rankings. Franklin County ranked 10th out of the state’s 14 counties in terms of health.

Local leaders in Franklin County, as well as Rep. Paul Mark (D-Peru) met at the John W. Olver Transit Center in Greenfield to learn how Franklin County measures-up in terms of health, and how it can be improved.

These health rankings are released every year, and they allow every county in the country to compare itself against others. The rankings are based on health factors such as length of life, premature death, and sexually transmitted diseases.

“We are in general a pretty healthy community, but we have a lot of work to doing making sure everybody can have access to the same benefits as everyone else,” said Phoebe Walker, Director of Community Services for the Franklin Regional Council of Governments.

Walker told 22News that they identified more than 20 strategies to improve health in Franklin County. Those include improving housing and public transportation, and ensuring paid medical and family leave.

Hampden County was ranked lowest for health statewide, while Nantucket County was first.