Berkshire County has dropped a spot in the county health rankings.  reports that annual rankings measure in two categories — health outcomes and health factors. The county ranks 13 out of 14 counties in Massachusetts in the former and 11 out of 14 for the latter.
Neighboring Hampden County was dead last in both categories.
"Our overall rank is not where we'd like it to be. Berkshire County currently ranks 13th out of the 14 counties in Massachusetts. We were hovering around 11th for a number of years, fell to 12th last year, and this year fell to 13th," Public Health Program Manager for Berkshire Regional Planning Commission Laura Kittross said.
Access to care is another strength, which may be a surprise to many. The Berkshires are 5th in the state when it comes to access to primary care physicians, 6th for dentists, and 3rd for mental health.
The quality of care also ranked high. Kittross said that measurement is the rate of hospital stays for things that could have been treated as outpatient care, which is another indicator that access to primary-care doctors is doing well.
The reports was released by local health officials Monday and will serve as the basis for efforts to improve the well-being of residents throughout the county. The data used was garnered largely between 2015 and 2017.

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