NYC unveils new health goals

September 14, 2009 3:47:47 PM PDT
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley have unveiled a new plan aimed at getting more New Yorkers healthy and fit. It's called "Take Care New York 2012" and targets 10 leading causes of preventable illnesses including lung cancer, heart disease and HIV. "The entire nation is focused on the health care debate in Washington right now, and one positive thing to come out of it so far is the attention it's brought to prevention and the importance of high-quality primary care," said Mayor Bloomberg.

"Much progress has been made since Take Care New York began in 2004," said Health Commissioner Farley. "Today we know more about the behaviors and conditions that affect public health and how different interventions can improve outcomes, and decrease illness."

The health commissioner says he's also trying to enlist architects, nonprofit groups and businesses to help make New York City a more exercise-friendly place. Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan is also onboard.

"New York City is a walking town, and we're designing our streets to make walking as safe and enjoyable as possible for all New Yorkers," said Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. "You don't need a gym membership to get the exercise you need. These days, we're biking here too, with 200 new bike-lane miles to ride on. Here in New York, it's easy to build fitness into your daily routine, and through Take Care New York 2012, we're going to make it even easier."

Take Care New York aims to provide ways in which community organizations, businesses, health care providers and government agencies can improve the city's health. It also emphasizes closing the health gap among New Yorkers of different races, ethnicities and income levels, and it addresses neighborhood conditions such as safe housing and access to nutritious, affordable foods.

Here are the new plan's 10 priorities for the city: (1) Promote quality health care for all; (2) Be tobacco free; (3) Promote physical activity and healthy eating; (4) Be heart healthy; (5) Stop the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections; (6) Recognize and treat depression; (7) Reduce risky alcohol use and drug dependence; (8) Prevent and detect cancer; (9) Raise healthy children; and (10) Make all neighborhoods healthy places.

The full action plan is available online at NYC Health Plan

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