New Jersey prides itself on being at the top of many lists, including ranking number one in the country in education, including public, private, parochial and particularly higher education.

It was voted the second best music-driven state in the country and has ranked high in recreational activity with our miles and miles of shoreline, boardwalks and state and national parks.

New Jersey is also ranked very high when it comes to healthcare.

According to a new U.S. News & World Report, New Jersey comes in at an impressive 4th in the country in overall healthcare. Only Hawaii, Massachusetts and Connecticut outrank the Garden State.

One of the categories that make up the study showed that New Jersey ranked 8th in the country in access to preventative health and dental care for both children and adults.

New Jersey also ranks 2nd in the country in overall public health and 11th in the country in health care quality. These results were weighted and New Jersey’s 4th overall ranking was established.

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Unfortunately, I, like so many of you, have experienced the perils and set back of being sick and needing the services of a hospital or urgent care.

Yes, there are stories about overcrowding in ERs and long waits to see a physician or specialist but that doesn’t take away from the quality of care that you will get here in a New Jersey hospital. I have experienced it many times and while I was frustrated with the wait the end result of healing what ails me was most important.

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I have so much respect for the nurses and aides who work ridiculously long hours and keep focused on trying to make all the patients as comfortable as possible. The doctors and specialists who make rounds at 5 a.m. so that they can get a start on their busy day. I saw it all and have experienced it all as I have spent way too much time in Jersey hospitals as a patient.

Be proud of your healthcare here in New Jersey. They may be ranked number 4 in the country but they’ll always be number 1 with me.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

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