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12-19-12: How Healthy Is Maryland?
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How healthy are Marylanders, compared people in other parts of the country? And what changes could improve our overall health here?
That’s what a new report from the UnitedHealth Foundation is trying to help figure out. The report ranks Maryland 19th among the 50 states in overall health. That’s up five slots from last year … but Maryland still faces big challenges in curbing obesity, infant mortality, violent crime, and air pollution.
Sheilah talks about the report with Dr. Sandra Bruce Nichols, United Health Care’s Chief Medical Officer for the Northeast Region, and with Maryland Health Secretary Josh Sharfstein, about what the state is doing to mitigate these challenges.
Another factor undercutting Maryland’s health is injuries and deaths caused by criminal violence. With more than 500 violent criminal offenses per 100,000 population, Maryland ranks 43rd – only seven states have more violent crime for their size.
When Gov. Martin O’Malley spoke with reporters on Tuesday, he was asked about the school massacre in Connecticut. He said he’s discussing with his cabinet and the legislature what steps to take, including tighter controls on assault weapons and ammunition, measures to keep guns out of the hands of people with a mental illness, and statewide standards for school security.
You can hear more of Gov. O’Malley’s reaction to the Sandy Hook shooting here.