The Health Department today released its second annual update on Take Care New York 2020 (TCNY 2020), the City’s comprehensive blueprint to improve the health of all New Yorkers. The report updates progress across 25 key indicators that impact people’s health. Overall, New York City is getting healthier – more New Yorkers self-reported feeling healthy; air quality improved; teen pregnancy rates continue to decrease, more babies are born in Baby-Friendly facilities; and high school graduation rates are rising.
The report also features four partners working to improve the health of their communities, along with suggestions for organizations, businesses, and health care providers on how to further support community health. In addition, to help communities reach TCNY 2020 goals, the Health Department has engaged over 9,000 nonprofit organizations, local businesses, schools, health care providers, faith-based institutions, and community leaders. The report and a new video about the TCNY 2020 goals are accessible online at www.nyc.gov/health/tcny.
“Every New Yorker deserves an equal chance of living a healthy life,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “Health equity can only be achieved if we all work together to address the underlying causes of poor health that affect our communities – structural racism and income inequality. While these may seem like daunting challenges, TCNY 2020 gives New Yorkers concrete actions they can take to improve their neighborhood’s health.”
“Health is created by more than what happens in the doctor’s office,” said First Deputy Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “Our communities, homes, and environment all contribute to our health. Every organization, business, healthcare provider and resident has a role to play in creating a healthier neighborhood. This report points the way.”
While the city’s health is improving overall, marked disparities in key health indicators persist. Groups with the worst health outcomes are also improving but at a slower rate than the rest of the city. A full list of the 25 indicators and the most recent data can be found in Appendix 1 of the TCNY 2020 report. Key findings include:
- More New Yorkers self-reported as feeling healthier than in previous years (78 percent citywide), and this rate increased significantly for Latino New Yorkers (70 percent in 2016 compared to 67 percent in 2015).
- The teenage pregnancy rate is at an all-time low (40.6 per 1,000) and fell by almost 50 percent between 2011 and 2015 in very high-poverty neighborhoods (neighborhoods where 30 percent or more residents live below the federal poverty level).
- The percent of babies born in Baby-Friendly facilities has almost doubled since 2013, and the number is expected to greatly increase in the coming years. A Baby-Friendly facility is a hospital or birthing center that offers quality care for breastfeeding and encourages bonding between parents and their babies.
- Air quality citywide has already surpassed the 2020 goal.
- The infant mortality rate citywide (4.3 per 1,000 in 2015) is slightly below the TCNY 2020 goal (4.4 per 1,000), but it is significantly higher for Black babies (4.3 per 1,000 citywide and 8.0 per 1,000 for Black New Yorkers).
- Premature mortality has decreased citywide but it has increased among Black New Yorkers.
- 73 percent of high school students graduated in 2016, compared to 66 percent in 2013.
- Obesity remains at 24 percent, and it increased slightly in high-poverty neighborhoods.
- Children’s asthma-related hospitalizations have also increased in high-poverty neighborhoods (391 per 10,000 in 2015 compared to 371 per 10,000 in 2014), though rates remained constant citywide.
- There was a nearly 12 percent reduction in new HIV diagnoses between 2013 and 2015, but only a 10 percent reduction among Black and Latino men who have sex with men.
“The collaboration between the Institute for Advanced Medicine at Mount Sinai and the New York City Health Department on our 24 hour PEP hotline has made a direct impact upon the health of our community,” said Dr. Michael Mullen, Director, Institute for Advanced Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “The program now encompasses all five boroughs and has removed significant barriers to PEP access that would otherwise prevent individuals from seeking the proper post exposure treatment. The success of the project has been overwhelming, and funding from the New York City Health Department has been enhanced to meet the need.”
“We are delighted to have a lactation pod in the lobby of Brooklyn Children’s Museum to serve Museum visitors and members of our community,” said Stephanie Hill Wilchfort, President & CEO Brooklyn Children’s Museum. “Parents are welcome and encouraged to breastfeed anywhere at Brooklyn Children’s Museum, but we are grateful to the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene for providing this private space as an additional option for those who are nursing or pumping.”
“This blueprint provides a roadmap for businesses, neighborhoods, organizations, healthcare providers and individual New Yorkers to improve the overall health of our City and combat the health disparities that continue to impact our communities,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera. “By working together to address the underlying factors that impact our health, we have been able to make significant progress on a number of areas, but we still have a lot of work to do. I thank Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett and the Department of Health for their leadership and I look forward to continue working with them to combat the most pressing health issues affecting New Yorkers.”
“The Take Care New York 2020 report is a vital tool for public health advocates, policymakers, and providers,” said Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried. “The report shows that New Yorkers are getting healthier, but also sets goals for addressing the critical health disparities that remain in our City.”
Organizations can become champions of community health by creating policies and systems that support the health of all their stakeholders. The TCNY Second Annual Update provides ideas to guide organizations, businesses and residents in advancing health equity in their communities and incorporate TCNY 2020 goals into organizational practices, policies, and actions. This Second Annual Report highlights four partnerships as examples of initiatives that are contributing to the goals of TCNY 2020:
- To promote healthy childhoods, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum in partnership with the Health Department is supporting breastfeeding in their communities by placing a lactation pod in their lobby to provide safe spaces for mothers to nurse or pump breastmilk. In addition to the Brooklyn Museum, the Health Department partnered with 4 community partners to open 5 lactation suites in family friendly locations in each borough to promote breastfeeding. This new effort complements the de Blasio Administration new law requiring City agencies to make lactation rooms available to members of the public.
- In order to create healthier neighborhoods, the New York City Department of Transportation is partnering with TetchTech and local trucking companies like Adam’s Apple Produce to improve air quality in the South Bronx by upgrading or replacing older diesel trucks as part of the Hunts Point Clean Trucks Program. The de Blasio administration, is prioritizing the reduction of emissions and air quality improvement citywide through a series of initiatives through the Health Department’s NYCCAS and its OneNYC plan. The improvements in air quality between 2008 and 2015 shows the continued progress toward Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC goal of achieving the cleanest air of any large U.S. city by 2030.
- To support healthy living, the Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness and other key partners have formed the Staten Island Child Wellness Initiative to reduce obesity in elementary and middle school students. As part of the City’s ongoing efforts to reduce sugary drinks consumption and prevent chronic disease, the Health Department has also launched the “Sour Side of Sweet” a public awareness campaign, urging New Yorkers to avoid sugary drinks and not to give them to children.
- In order to increase access to quality care, the Mt. Sinai Institute for Advanced Medicine is partnering with the Health Department on the 24-hour PEP hotline (844-3-PEPNYC), which provides free HIV post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) starter doses and a referral to health care services for New Yorkers regardless of their insurance or immigration status. The City is currently on track to meet the main goal of the NYC Plan to End the Epidemic (ETE), which aims to reduce the number of HIV diagnoses to fewer than 600 by the year 2020. Announced by Mayor de Blasio in 2015, ETE helped revamp the City’s eight Sexual Health Clinics, including adding staff, expanding hours of operation, and offering a revolutionary approach to medical treatment for New Yorkers at risk or newly diagnosed with HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.