Fighting to Keep New Yorkers Healthy
New York City has so much to offer that makes life here
a pleasure. Good health is fundamental to being able to enjoy
them all. And the good news is that, as a city, New Yorkers
are healthier than ever.
Our City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reports
that, for the first time since the end of World War II, New
Yorkers today are, on average, living longer than people
in the rest of the United States. Over the last ten years,
the death rate for New Yorkers under the age of 65 has fallen
by an amazing 40%, and it's continuing to go down.
Why? Well, healthier lifestyles certainly play a big part.
Reduced tobacco consumption is a prime example. Recent Health
Department surveys show that today about 130,000 fewer of
us are smoking than were two years ago. Combine that with
the benefits of making all our workplaces smoke-free, and
that translates into 40,000 New Yorkers who will, on average,
live 14 years longer than they otherwise would.
We're also reducing major environmental health hazards.
Take lead paint poisoning. While still far too prevalent
in low-income communities, new cases of lead poisoning among
children have fallen by 82% since 1995. Although a well-meaning
but ill-considered measure recently enacted by the City Council
complicates our efforts on this issue, our Administration
will do everything we can to reduce childhood lead poisoning
by at least another two-thirds in the next five years.
Then there's the heartening progress we're making in the
struggle against HIV and AIDS. In 1993, about 7,000 New Yorkers
died from AIDS; last year, there were fewer than 2,000 AIDS
deaths here. That's still far, far too many-and it's why
we're working to make New York a national model in detecting
and stopping the spread of AIDS. And with the opening of
a model client services office last week, our HIV-AIDS Service
Administration took a major step forward in making its operations
more efficient and customer-oriented. That's one way we're
working to enhance the health, and the quality of life, of
New Yorkers who are living with AIDS.
In fact, New York has a detailed agenda for improving the
health of us all. Developed by the Department of Health,
it's called "Take Care New York." It sets out a
ten-point personal health plan that every New Yorker
can adopt, from having a doctor you trust, to making sure
that youngsters are immunized against early childhood diseases,
to maintaining healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Following
the action steps outlined in "Take Care New York" will
ensure that the lives of thousands of New Yorkers won't be
needlessly shortened by cancer, diabetes, drug use, and other
From vastly improving the quality
of care in our public hospitals to dramatically enhancing
restaurant compliance with Health Code standards, our Administration
is working to make New York a healthier place to live.
Find out what you can do to help. Read about "Take Care New York" by
going to the City's web site at nyc.gov. And call the Citizen
Service Hotline at 311 to get a free "Passport to Your
Health" that will help you track the most important
things you can do.#