Los Alamos County Chair Randall Ryti was interviewed briefly Thursday by Irish journalist Nuala McGovern for BBC Outside Service of BBC World Services on the announcement that the County has been been named the most healthy community in the United States for the third year by U.S. News & World Report. See https://losalamosreporter.com/2022/06/22/los-alamos-county-takes-top-spot-in-u-s-news-cvs-healthiest-communities-rankings-for-third-year-in-a-row/.
Ryti told McGovern the population is very engaged and gives a lot of feedback.
“We have a farirly educated population. We have a population that is very interested in health generally so they’ve been very interested in promoting various measures for community health. I think that we have a lot of resources available for people locally. We also look regionally for health. I think it’s a lot to do with the people that live here and have interest in the activities and the outdoors,” Ryti said.
McGovern asked it the community is a self-selecting group and if people decide to move and live in Alamos that are coming there for a healthy lifestyle.
“I think that would be part of it. I think people who might be looking for more cultural activities might choose other places to live, but Los Alamos does have a lot to offer. When we had recent wildfires we actually had to go to the Stage 3 Fire Restrictions and close our trails and we had a lot of concerns from the community about not having access to trails and outdoor healthy activities,” Ryti responded. “I think that something that’s been happening also during the pandemic over these last 2 1/2 years. People really enjoy being able to be outdoors and use that as part of their health routine.”
McGovern said she was curious about what the reaction of the County was to the pandemic.
“Los Alamos was fairly receptive to the public health orders that the state of New Mexico issued so we had a lot of compliance with mask-wearing,” Ryti responded. “The interest in the vaccines was tremendous so people really were interested in getting vaccinated and getting boosted so that’s been a consistent thing through the pandemic. I think that’s a big part of what’s been driving Los Alamos healthy lifestyle.”
Ryti also noted that the County has a task force that recommended that the County stop using certain herbicides and a task force on resiliency, energy and sustainability.
The full interview may be viewed at https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0cgtwpb