2015 Press Releases

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Health Department Reminds New Yorkers to Avoid Excessive Drinking on New Year’s Eve

With New Year’s Eve tonight, the Health Department reminds all New Yorkers not to drink to excess. Alcohol-related emergency room visits are more than double on New Year’s Day compared to the rest of the year, according to an analysis of Health Department data. Alcohol related emergency room visits peak during the hours 1 to 4 a.m. during New Year’s Day. This pattern is consistent across several years.
PRESS RELEASE # 060-15

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Health Department Announces Sophia and Ethan are 2014’s Most Popular Baby Names

The Health Department announced today that Ethan and Sophia were the most popular baby names in New York City in 2014. Sophia has been the number 1 girl’s name for the last three years, while Ethan emerged as the new most popular boy’s name after holding the second place spot for two years in a row. The Health Department’s birth certificate records showed 740 Ethans and 586 Sophias were born in New York City in 2014. Compared to 2013, there were 1,627 more babies born in the Big Apple in 2014.
PRESS RELEASE # 059-15

Wednesday, December 2, 2015 

Health Department Co-Hosts Second Annual R.E.D. (Remembering-Empowering-Doing) Ball to Recognize World Aids Day

The Health Department joined Project Speak Out Loud and Symba McQueen in hosting the second annual RED (Remembering-Empowering-Doing) Ball at Metropolitan Pavilion West. Inspired by New York City’s House Ballroom culture, the RED Ball featured free HIV testing, live performances, information on HIV prevention and treatment, and appearances by House and Ballroom legends. Attendees also participated in a World AIDS Day-themed fashion show/runaway competition, styled by Symba McQueen. The categories included, Victorian Fashion, Gender and Sexuality, Music Hall, Variety Theater, Marionettes, and Let Them Eat Cake. Winners of each category were chosen by a panel of judges.
PRESS RELEASE # 058-15

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Health Department Recognizes World Aids Day, Releases New Data Showing 2014 HIV Diagnoses Hit New Low; Transgender HIV Rates Included for the First Time in Surveillance Data

The Health Department released its 2014 HIV Surveillance Annual Report, which shows that the annual number of new HIV diagnoses in New York City has reached an all-time low, and, for the first time, includes data on HIV/AIDS among transgender New Yorkers. In 2014, 2,718 people were newly diagnosed with HIV in NYC, compared to 2,832 in 2013 and 4,397 people ten years prior in 2004, a reduction of more than 38 percent. Communities of color continue to be disproportionally affected by HIV and AIDS – Black and Hispanic men who have sex with men (MSM) continue to have the highest HIV diagnosis rates. The Health Department report also presents new information on HIV viral load suppression showing that the proportion of people in HIV care who achieve viral suppression increased from 69 percent in 2010 to 81 percent in 2014.
PRESS RELEASE # 057-15

Monday, November 30, 2015

Sodium Warning Label Rule Goes into Effect Tuesday, December 1; NYC Is the First U.S. City to Require Chain Restaurants to Post Warnings

The Health Department's sodium warning requirement goes into effect Tuesday, December 1. Food service establishments in New York City that are part of chains with 15 or more locations nationwide will be required to post icons next to items with 2,300 milligrams or more of sodium -the total recommended daily limit. This will include combo items, such as an order-by-number meal that might include a soup and a sandwich or a burger and french fries. The rule also requires chain food service establishments to post a warning statement where customers place their orders. The statement explains that items with the icon have more than the recommended daily limit of sodium and that high sodium intake can increase blood pressure and risk of heart disease and stroke. Leading scientific bodies, including the United States Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recommend that Americans reduce their daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg of sodium. New York is the first city in the nation to require chain restaurants to post warning labels next to menu items that contain high levels of sodium.
PRESS RELEASE # 056-15

Friday, November 20, 2015

Health Department Identifies Likely Source of East Bronx Legionnaires' Disease Outbreak

The New York City Health Department announced that it had identified the likely source of the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in the East Bronx. After extensive sampling of cooling towers and testing of Legionella bacteria, the city’s Public Health Laboratory, in collaboration with the state’s Wadsworth Center laboratory, identified a cooling tower at the Bronx Psychiatric Center as the likely source of the outbreak. The Legionella strain found in the cooling tower matched samples taken from four patients.
PRESS RELEASE # 055-15

Friday, November 20, 2015

Health Department Recognizes Transgender Day of Remembrance, Releases RFP For New Programming For Transgender Men

The New York City Health Department recognized Transgender Day of Remembrance issuing a request for proposal (RFP) that will fund community-based providers to develop and pilot a curriculum-based workshop for transgender men to promote their general and sexual health. This opportunity will focus on increasing such services to populations in underserved geographic areas of New York City. Funded organizations will design and implement a social media campaign to both promote the workshop and promote trans men’s health and sexual health in general. Health care providers will also be educated by funded organizations to become more fluent in addressing the health care needs of transgender men, including transgender MSM. The Health Department’s goal is to improve the sexual health of transgender men, including transgender MSM. The Department of Health also issued “Health Tips for Trans Men and People of Trans-Masculine Experience,” a booklet that includes health care information for New Yorkers of trans-masculine experience. The new booklet complements “Take Pride, Take Care: Tips for Transgender Women’s Health,” which was issued earlier this year. The RFP can be found at healthsolutions.org and the booklet is located at nyc.gov/health.
PRESS RELEASE # 054-15

Friday, November 20, 2015

Health Department Releases Bronx Community Health Profiles

The Health Department announced the expansion of Shop Healthy NYC to the Claremont and Morrisania neighborhoods of the Bronx. Shop Healthy NYC is a program that works with communities to increase access to healthier foods in neighborhoods with high rates of obesity and limited access to nutritious food and beverage options. Over the past three years, Shop Healthy NYC has successfully increased promotion and access to healthier food options in the Bronx neighborhoods of West Farms, Fordham, Mott Haven, Hunts Point, Longwood and East Tremont by working with residents, community organizations, food retailers, suppliers and distributors. Today, the program will expand to the Claremont and Morrisania neighborhoods in the South Bronx, potentially impacting nearly 38,000 new residents.
PRESS RELEASE # 053-15

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Health Department Expands Shop Healthy NYC to The Claremont and Morrisania Neighborhoods In The South Bronx

The Health Department announced the expansion of Shop Healthy NYC to the Claremont and Morrisania neighborhoods of the Bronx. Shop Healthy NYC is a program that works with communities to increase access to healthier foods in neighborhoods with high rates of obesity and limited access to nutritious food and beverage options. Over the past three years, Shop Healthy NYC has successfully increased promotion and access to healthier food options in the Bronx neighborhoods of West Farms, Fordham, Mott Haven, Hunts Point, Longwood and East Tremont by working with residents, community organizations, food retailers, suppliers and distributors. Today, the program will expand to the Claremont and Morrisania neighborhoods in the South Bronx, potentially impacting nearly 38,000 new residents.
PRESS RELEASE # 052-15

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Health Department Releases Queens Community Health Profiles

The Health Department released its Queens Community Health Profiles, detailing the health of all 14 community districts in the borough. Each Profile outlines the health of a Queens community district using indicators of neighborhood conditions, social and economic conditions, healthy living, health care, and health outcomes. This year, to create a broader picture of neighborhood wellbeing, the agency added non-traditional health indicators to the Profiles, such as housing quality, the number of tobacco retailers per 10,000 people, and the supermarket square footage per 100 people.
PRESS RELEASE # 051-15

Monday, November 16, 2015

Consumer Affairs and Health Department Launch Public Awareness Campaign about the Dangers of K2

NEW YORK, NY – Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Julie Menin and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett today announced the launch of the City’s public awareness campaign to educate users, potential users, caregivers, and retailers about the dangers of synthetic cannabinoids, drugs commonly known as “K2.” The campaign and the jointly-hosted summit are part of the City’s multi-agency strategy to combat the sale and use of K2, a dangerous drug that can have severe health effects, including death. The sale of K2 now carries stiff civil and criminal penalties in New York City.
PRESS RELEASE # k2-pr

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Product Alert: Illegal Purported Aphrodisiac Called ‘Stone’ Can Cause Serious Poisoning and Death

The Health Department warns New York City residents about an illegal aphrodisiac known as “stone,” which can cause serious poisonings and death. The product is known as Piedra China, Jamaican Stone, Love Stone, Black Stone or China Rock. Last week, an area hospital alerted the New York City Poison Control Center that a 39 year old man had died after ingesting Piedra China. Similar products were linked to poisonings and deaths during the 1990s. Since 2000, the New York City Poison Control Center has identified 7 similar cases including this particular case and one earlier in 2015 associated with significant toxicity. These products are banned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) but are imported illegally. Selling them in New York City is also a violation of the New York City Health Code.
PRESS RELEASE # 050-15

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Health Department Releases Staten Island Community Health Profiles

The Health Department released its Staten Island Community Health Profiles, detailing the health of all three community districts in the borough. Each Profile outlines the health of a Staten Island community district using indicators of neighborhood conditions, social and economic conditions, healthy living, health care, and health outcomes. This year, to create a broader picture of neighborhood wellbeing, the agency added non-traditional health indicators to the Profiles, such as housing quality, the number of tobacco retailers per 10,000 people, and the supermarket square footage per 100 people. For all of the indicators, the Community Health Profiles offers a contrast between high and low performing community districts, the borough, and the city as a whole.
PRESS RELEASE # 049-15

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Health Department Launches Take Care New York 2020, a Comprehensive Blueprint for Improving the Health of All NY’ers

The Health Department launched Take Care New York 2020, the city’s comprehensive health blueprint to give all New Yorkers a chance to live a healthier life. Take Care New York (TCNY) 2020 identifies key areas for health improvement across the City and for advancing health equity. The Health Department’s aim is twofold: to improve the health of all New York City communities, and to promote even greater strides in groups that today have the worst health outcomes.
PRESS RELEASE # 048-15

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Health Department Data Brief Highlights the Utilization of Oral Health Services Among Adults in New York City

The Health Department released a new Data Brief (PDF) on the utilization of oral health services among adults in New York City. Using data from the agency’s annual Community Health Survey and Syndromic Surveillance, which collects data from hospitals across the five boroughs, the Health Department describes how New Yorkers are using preventive and emergency dental services. The Epi Data Brief, “Utilization of Oral health Services among Adults in New York City,” can be found on the agency’s website, nyc.gov/health.
PRESS RELEASE # 047-15

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Health Department Releases New Traffic Fatalities Report: Fatality Rate Declined Between 2000 and 2013

The Health Department released a report (PDF) that shows New York City’s traffic-related fatality rate declined between 2000 and 2013 – from 4.5 per 100,000 to 3.5 per 100,000 New Yorkers. However, traffic crashes continue to be a leading cause of injury related death in NYC, accounting for about 300 deaths in 2013. These include deaths caused by injuries from a motor vehicle crash, including injuries to a motor vehicle occupant, motorcyclist, pedestrian, or bicyclist. While the NYC traffic-related fatality rate is one-third the national rate, pedestrians bear the burden of traffic-related deaths in the city, comprising more than half of all NYC traffic-related fatalities (55%).
PRESS RELEASE # 046-15

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Health Bucks Program Marks 10 Year Anniversary: More Than $2 Million Redeemed in Fresh Fruits & Vegetables from 2005 to 2015

The New York City Health Department announced the 10 year anniversary of the Health Bucks program. Health Bucks, $2 coupons redeemable for fresh produce at all NYC farmers’ markets, increase low-income New Yorkers’ access to high-quality, fresh fruits and vegetables. With nearly 1 in 6 New Yorkers relying on food assistance and nearly 1 in 4 children food insecure, Health Bucks fill a critical need by making fresh produce more affordable. The Health Bucks program is the largest city-run fruit and vegetable incentive program in the nation and has helped inspired healthy food incentive programs across the country. Over the last 10 years, low-income New Yorkers across the city have purchased more than $2 million worth of fresh produce from New York City farmers’ markets using Health Bucks.
PRESS RELEASE # 044-15

Friday, October 23, 2015

Health Department Releases Manhattan Community Health Profiles

The Health Department released its Manhattan Community Health Profiles, detailing the health of all 12 community districts in the borough. Each Profile outlines the health of a Manhattan community district using indicators of neighborhood conditions, social and economic conditions, healthy living, health care, and health outcomes. This year, to create a broader picture of neighborhood wellbeing, the agency added non-traditional health indicators to the Profiles, such as housing quality, the number of tobacco retailers per 10,000 people, and the supermarket square footage per 100 people.
PRESS RELEASE # 045-15

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Health Department Launches 2015 Flu Shot Awareness Campaign: “Avoid the: Pain. Fever. Chills. Misery. Get the Flu Vaccine Today”

The Health Department launched a public awareness campaign reminding New Yorkers that the flu vaccination is the best protection against “Pain. Fever. Chills. Misery.” The campaign will feature four English and two Spanish ads, which will run in subway cars. The campaign will also have a social media presence. Influenza is a highly contagious respiratory viral illness that can cause significant illness and death. More New Yorkers die from influenza and pneumonia than from any other infection. In 2013, 2,472 New Yorkers died from influenza and pneumonia; 80%-90% of influenza-related deaths are among persons aged 65 years and older.
PRESS RELEASE # 043-15

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Health Department Releases Community Health Profiles of Brooklyn Neighborhoods to Highlight Inequity and Encourage Community Engagement

The Health Department released the most comprehensive set of Brooklyn Community Health Profiles ever produced, detailing the health of all 18 community districts across the borough. The profiles detail the health of Brooklyn neighborhoods from a population breakdown to neighborhood conditions to health outcomes. These Community Health Profiles, updated and expanded versions of profiles first released in 2003 and then updated in 2006, provide comparative information on major health issues including HIV, smoking, and health insurance, and serve as a critical resource for improving health community by community. To create a broader picture of neighborhood wellbeing the agency added non-traditional health indicators to the Profiles, such as housing quality and retail environment. Poorly maintained housing is associated with negative health outcomes, including asthma and other respiratory illnesses, injuries and poor mental health; fewer supermarkets reduces access to healthy food choice options.
PRESS RELEASE # 042-15

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Health Department, State Senator Serrano Recognize Store Owners for Participating in Shop Healthy Program

The Health Department’s Center for Health Equity and the East and Central Harlem District Public Health Office joined New York State Senator Jose M. Serrano (D/District 29) outside Mi Mexico Mini Market , an East Harlem bodega, to recognize store owners in the community for participating in Shop Healthy NYC. Shop Healthy NYC aims to increase access to healthier food in neighborhoods with high rates of obesity and limited access to nutritious food and beverage options.
PRESS RELEASE # 041-15

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Health Department Launches “Maybe The IUD” Campaign to Increase Awareness of This Effective and Low-Maintenance Birth Control Option

The New York City Health Department announced the launch of “Maybe the IUD,” a public education campaign to increase awareness of the intrauterine device (IUD), a highly effective, low-maintenance birth control option. The campaign, which will include subway and online ads, social media, print materials and a website, provides information about a full range of birth control options, and stresses the importance of getting accurate information about contraceptive options, so that every woman can choose the method that best meets her needs and lifestyle. Campaign materials also recognize the importance of using condoms to prevent sexually transmitted infections including HIV. Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett was joined at LaGuardia Community College by LaGuardia President Gail O. Mellow, Dr. Ayman El-Mohandes, Dean, CUNY School of Public Health, Ashwini Hardikar, Director of Adolescent Sexual Health at the Grand Street Settlement, and two CUNY students, Anna Jankowski and Carla Peralta.
PRESS RELEASE # 040-15

Monday, September 28, 2015

Health Department Investigating Cluster of Legionnaires’ Disease in Morris Park Section of the Bronx

The Health Department is currently investigating a cluster of seven Legionnaires' disease cases in the Morris Park section of the Bronx. This cluster is unrelated to the outbreak in the South Bronx this summer that was attributed to Legionella found in the cooling tower of the Opera House Hotel. Patients in the current cluster live or work in Morris Park, range in age from 45 to 75 and are all currently hospitalized. There have been no deaths. New Yorkers with respiratory symptoms, such as fever, cough, chills and difficulty breathing, are advised to promptly seek medical attention.
PRESS RELEASE # 039-15

Friday, September 18, 2015

Health Department to Hold Rabies Vaccination and Dog Licensing Events on September 19 And 27

For the next two weekends in September, the Health Department and Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC), in partnership with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, State Senator Martin J. Golden, City Council Member Peter Koo, and LaGuardia Community College, will provide free vaccinations to dogs and cats in Brooklyn and Queens. Convenient, on-the-spot licensing for dogs will also be available at both events. Due to limited supply, pre-registration is required. To pre-register, please call (347) 396-7998 before 5 p.m. today.
PRESS RELEASE # 038-15

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Health Department Releases Highlights From the 2014 Community Health Survey

The Health Department today announced that the adult smoking prevalence has declined and that the prevalence of adults without health insurance is one of the lowest in the past decade. These data – highlights from the 2014 Community Health Survey – show that 13.9% of New York City adults are current smokers. This represents a 35% decline in smoking from the 2002 prevalence when comprehensive tobacco control was put in place, and is one of the lowest prevalence rates of smoking on record in New York City. The 2014 smoking prevalence represents a 14% decline in smoking from the 2013 prevalence of 16.1%. It is estimated that there are now fewer than 900,000 adult smokers in New York City. This decrease is in line with the recently-announced New York State prevalence decrease to 14.5% and the downward national trend in smoking rates.
PRESS RELEASE # 037-15

Friday, August 28, 2015

New Health Department Report Reveals Disparities in Breastfeeding Trends in New York City

In recognition of National Breastfeeding Month and Black Breastfeeding Week, the Health Department released new data on breastfeeding trends in New York City. The data show that babies born to women of color and from high-poverty neighborhoods in New York City are less likely to exclusively breastfeed during the first five days after giving birth. In 2013, babies born to mothers from low-poverty neighborhoods were 1.6 times more likely to be exclusively breastfed within the first five days of birth compared with babies from high-poverty neighborhoods.
PRESS RELEASE # 036-15

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Youth Increase Awareness about Damaging Effects of Sugary Drinks in Communities Across City

The Health Department announced the launch of #OurVoiceNYC, a program that engages youth aged 13 to 19 from across New York City to serve as key partners in agency public health campaigns. The agency’s Center for Health Equity has trained and educated more than 100 youth throughout the city to be health ambassadors in their communities. Over a dozen young people living in neighborhoods with the highest burden of disease expressed their views on how their communities are flooded with unhealthy marketing messages.
PRESS RELEASE # 035-15

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Health Department Announces Source of Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak in South Bronx, Declares Outbreak Over

The New York City Health Department’s Public Health Laboratory, in close coordination with the State’s Wadsworth Center Laboratory and the CDC, today announced that they had identified the source of the Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak in the South Bronx and declared the outbreak over. After extensive sampling of cooling towers and testing of Legionella bacteria, the laboratories have matched the Legionella strain found in the Opera House Hotel cooling tower with the strain found in patients. Epidemiologic and environmental investigations by the Health Department further support the conclusion that this cooling tower was the source of the outbreak.
PRESS RELEASE # 034-15

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Health Department Reports First Human Case of West Nile Virus Infection for 2015 Season: Patient Hospitalized, Treated, and Discharged

The Health Department confirmed the season’s first human case of West Nile virus in a Brooklyn man who was hospitalized with viral meningitis. The patient was over the age of 60 years and has been treated and discharged. In addition, the Queens neighborhoods listed below are being treated due to rising West Nile virus activity with high mosquito populations. The spraying will take place on Monday, August 17, 2015 between the hours of 8:30 p.m. and 6 a.m. the following morning, weather permitting. In case of bad weather, application will be delayed untilTuesday, August 18, 2015 during the same hours.
PRESS RELEASE # 033-15

Friday, August 14, 2015

USDA and Cornell to Vaccinate Raccoons in Parts of Staten Island to Help Prevent Spread of Rabies

On Monday, August 17 through Wednesday, August 19, between the hours of 8 A.M. and 8 P.M., wildlife biologists with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Cornell University will distribute oral rabies vaccine (ORV) in Staten Island. A low flying USDA helicopter will be used to target the distribution of bait in raccoon habitats, which will include woods, bushes, streambeds, sewers and other areas. Baits will not intentionally be dropped in dense residential areas or on roadways, parking lots, or open fields. Cornell received State funding to pursue this program in New York City, and it is an expansion of a program being conducted in Long Island and parts of upstate New York. In New York City and New York State, rabies occurs primarily in raccoons, bats and skunks. In case of bad weather, the baiting will be postponed to a later date.
PRESS RELEASE # 032-15

Monday, August 10, 2015

New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett and New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker Provide Update on Legionnaires’ Disease

Today, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett and New York State Commissioner of Health Dr. Zucker gave an update on the outbreak Legionnaires’ disease in the Bronx. All testing is done by a single laboratory run by the State of New York and the Wadsworth Laboratory located in Albany, and as such all information is uniform and coordinated.
PRESS RELEASE # 031-15

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Health Department Investigating Outbreak of Legionnaires' Disease in the South Bronx

The Health Department is currently investigating an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in the South Bronx. The Health Department is actively investigating and is testing water from cooling towers and other potential sources in the area to determine the source of the outbreak. New Yorkers with respiratory symptoms, such as fever, cough, chills and muscle aches, are advised to promptly seek medical attention.
PRESS RELEASE # 030-15

Friday, July 24, 2015

Health Department Advises New Yorkers to Avoid Certain Ayurvedic Medications Found to Contain Elevated Levels of Arsenic, Lead, and Mercury

The New York City Health Department advises New Yorkers to avoid certain Ayurvedic medications made in India by Shree Baidyanath as they have been found to contain elevated levels of arsenic, lead, and mercury. The levels of heavy metals found in these medications manufactured exceed the limits for arsenic (3 ppm), lead (2 ppm), and/or mercury (1 ppm) for certain food additives as referenced by the Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.
PRESS RELEASE # 029-15

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

West Nile Virus Detected in New York City Mosquitoes, No Human Cases Reported This Season

For the first time this season, the Health Department has detected West Nile virus in New York City mosquitoes. The infected mosquitoes were collected from the neighborhoods of Glen Oaks in Queens and New Dorp Beach in Staten Island. No human cases have been reported this season. The Health Department will increase mosquito surveillance by setting up additional traps and treating catch basins in the affected areas. The Health Department will continue its efforts to kill mosquito larvae before they can bite by applying larvicide in the city’s catch basins, marshland, and areas with standing water.
PRESS RELEASE # 028-15

Monday, June 29, 2015

Restaurant Letter Grading Marks Five-Year Anniversary

In July 2010, the Health Department began requiring restaurants in all five boroughs to post letter grades summarizing their sanitary inspection scores. Five years later, restaurants are performing better on inspection and are cleaner than they have ever been. The program has had a positive impact on restaurant hygiene, food-safety practices, and public awareness. Today, 95 percent of the City’s 24,000 restaurants now post an A grade, the number of critical violations has decreased, and more restaurant supervisors have completed the Health Department’s food protection course.
PRESS RELEASE # 027-15

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Health Department and Department Of Housing Preservation and Development Urge New Yorkers to Help Prevent Avoidable Tragedies by Installing Window Guards

As the weather gets warmer, the Health Department and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) remind New Yorkers that properly installed window guards are an important safety measure to prevent children from falling out of open windows. They are urging New Yorkers to make sure window guards are in place and properly installed. Children under the age of five account for two-thirds of all falls in New York City, and in 2014, there were six falls from windows that should have had window guards in place, three of which resulted in the death of a child.
PRESS RELEASE # 026-15

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Health Department Launches New Ad Campaign Highlighting the Health Risks of Children Consuming Sugary Drinks

The Health Department announced a new ad campaign educating New Yorkers on the health risks of children consuming sugary drinks. The ads explain that even though a child may not be overweight or obese, sugary drinks can lead to increased visceral fat, a fat that builds up in and around their organs. Visceral fat can lead to the child developing diabetes, heart disease, or a fatty liver. The ads end by encouraging parents to choose water or fruit for their children instead of sugary drinks.
PRESS RELEASE # 025-15

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Health Department and Council Member Corey Johnson Announce Plan to Continue Services During the Chelsea Clinic Renovation

The Health Department and City Council Health Committee Chair Corey Johnson announced a plan to continue offering low and no-cost HIV and STD services in Chelsea while the Health Department’s Chelsea Clinic is being renovated. The Health Department is renovating the clinic, located at 303 Ninth Ave., to improve the patient experience and clinical services at the site. The plan includes immediate changes, as well as changes that will be implemented this summer and fall.
PRESS RELEASE # 024-15

Monday, June 8, 2015

Health Department Releases New Anti-Smoking Ads Featuring Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett

The Health Department released a new series of anti-smoking ads featuring Dr. Mary T. Bassett, Health Commissioner and herself a former smoker. Commissioner Bassett is the Health Department’s first Commissioner to appear in an anti-smoking ad. In the ads, Dr. Bassett discusses how she started smoking at age 16 and her eventual decision to quit the habit for good while she received her medical training at Harlem Hospital. She informs New Yorkers who smoke that while quitting wasn’t easy, she was inevitably successful in her efforts and feels healthier and happier as a result of her decision. The TV, subway, newspaper, radio and ads will run through June 28.
PRESS RELEASE # 023-15

Friday, June 5, 2015

Health Department and Housing Preservation and Development Urge New Yorkers to Help Prevent Avoidable Tragedies by Installing Window Guards

With warmer weather fast approaching, the Health Department and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) remind New Yorkers that properly installed window guards are an important safety measure to prevent children from falling out of open windows. Children under the age of five account for two-thirds of all falls in New York City, and in 2014, there were six falls from windows that should have had window guards in place, three of which resulted in the death of a child.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Health Department Offering Free Mental Health Services for Children and Teens in Areas Most Affected by Superstorm Sandy

The Health Department launched an ad campaign to remind New Yorkers that free mental health services are available for children and adolescents living in the Rockaways, South Brooklyn, and Staten Island. Mental health evaluation and treatment will be provided at no cost through the NYC Child and Adolescent Resiliency Enhancement Services (NYC CARES) program.
PRESS RELEASE # 022-15

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Health Department Launches New Lead Dust Notification Procedures

New York City has made tremendous progress in reducing childhood lead poisoning, with a 71 percent decline in the rate of children with elevated blood lead levels (10 mcg/dL), from 8.6/1,000 tested in 2005 to 2.5 in 2013. This success is the result of strong policies and a proactive and comprehensive approach to lead poisoning prevention, including enforcement actions against building owners or contractors who create potentially hazardous lead dust conditions through unsafe work practices.
PRESS RELEASE # 021-15

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

DOHMH Report Shows That Motor Vehicle-Related Injuries Are the Leading Cause of Injury Death among NYC Children

The Health Department released its annual report detailing child injury deaths, which found that between 2003 and 2012, motor vehicle-related injuries were the leading cause of injury death among NYC children aged 1 to 12 years. More than 100 children died from a motor vehicle-related injury over this time period.
PRESS RELEASE # 020-15

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Investigation Finds That Underage New Yorkers Have Easy Access to Alcohol at Local Pharmacy, Grocery, and Liquor Stores

The Health Department announced the results of an undercover investigation of underage access to alcohol in New York City conducted last year. Using a $147,000 grant from the Health Department, the New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) created a dedicated unit to investigate and document underage sales by licensed retailers throughout New York City. Between April and September, the SLA conducted visits with underage decoys to 911 pharmacy, grocery and liquor stores throughout the five boroughs. This reflects 10 percent of New York City stores with liquor licenses. Fifty-eight percent of the stores sold alcohol to the decoys, who were all under 21 years of age. Costs associated with underage drinking, such as healthcare and law enforcement, are estimated to exceed $1 billion per year in New York State.
PRESS RELEASE # 019-15

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Health Department Launches Bronx Detailing Campaign to Promote Judicious Opioid Prescribing and Reduce Opioid Misuse and Overdose

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced the launch of a Bronx detailing campaign to educate physicians about safe and judicious opioid analgesic prescribing. Opioid analgesics are commonly known as prescription painkillers, and include medications such as oxycodone and hydrocodone. Health department representatives will visit more than 1,000 Bronx health care providers and staff to provide key prescribing messages and resources for patients and providers.
PRESS RELEASE # 018-15

Friday, April 17, 2015

DOHMH Warns New Yorkers of Dangers of “Synthetic Marijuana” After Increase in Emergency Department Visits

The Health Department warns New Yorkers not to use synthetic cannabinoids – most commonly referred to as “synthetic marijuana” – after a significant increase in emergency department visits. Between April 8 and April 15, more than 120 emergency department visits related to synthetic cannabinoids were detected by the Health Department. During the first few months of 2015, an average of two to three synthetic-marijuana related emergency department visits occurred each day.
PRESS RELEASE # 017-15

Thursday, April 9, 2015

DOHMH Debuts Anti-Smoking Ad Featuring Bronx Resident

In response to the increasing smoking rate, the Health Department announced a new ad campaign featuring a New Yorker who is battling a smoking-related illness. The ads tell the story of a woman named Beth, a former smoker from the Bronx who quit smoking after being diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD is an incurable, chronic disease associated with smoking. She formerly led a very active lifestyle that included biking and dancing. Since being diagnosed with COPD, Beth now has trouble with many routine activities, including climbing stairs, taking a shower and getting dressed. The ads will be on subways, and there will also be TV spots aired on local stations.
PRESS RELEASE # 016-15

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Four DOHMH Employees Assist with Ebola Response in Guinea

The Health Department today announced that four agency employees have volunteered to fight Ebola in West Africa. The employees will spend one month in Conakry, the capital of Guinea, working as “disease detectives” and assisting with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists’ overall outbreak response.
PRESS RELEASE # 015-15

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Health Outcomes in the Bronx Improving

In a report, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute ranked the nation’s counties on various measures of health, and the Bronx ranked 62nd out of all 62 counties in New York State. Despite this ranking, Bronx County performed better in 2015 than in 2014 for a number of health outcomes and health factors, including fewer premature deaths, improved food environment, fewer sexually transmitted infections, a lower teen birth rate, more mental health providers, fewer preventable hospital stays, and a lower unemployment rate.
PRESS RELEASE # 014-15

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

First Lady Chirlane Mccray, Chiara de Blasio, First Deputy Commissioner Oxiris Barbot Launch Mental Health Texting Pilot Program at 10 Public Schools

First Lady Chirlane McCray, Chiara de Blasio and First Deputy Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot announced the launch of NYC Teen Text, a new mental health resource for teens at 10 high schools throughout New York City. Teens at these schools can text “NYC Teen” to 65173 to receive prompt, confidential information and emotional support on issues ranging from feeling sad or hopeless, to depression.
PRESS RELEASE # 013-15

Friday, March 20, 2015

Health Department Reports Historic Low in New York City Tuberculosis Cases

In advance of World TB Day on March 24, the Health Department released data showing the number of TB cases in NYC reached a new, historic low of 585 cases in 2014, and TB incidence decreased 10 percent to a rate of 7.2 cases per 100,000 people. TB continues to disproportionately affect foreign-born New Yorkers, with 85 percent of total TB cases among individuals born outside the United States. China was the most common country of birth for TB cases in 2014, exceeding the number of cases born in the United States. The Health Department also released a new report exploring this disparate burden of TB among China-born New Yorkers.
PRESS RELEASE # 012-15

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Health Department Unveils Enhanced Child Care Services Website

The Health Department announced the launch of NYC Child Care Connect, a new online portal that includes an updated Child Care Program Directory and a new, free child care messaging service for parents and caregivers. The revamped Child Care Program Directory will allow parents and caregivers to both search for child care centers and summer camps in their area and compare information about a particular center to others across the city. And for the first time, our Program Directory will allow people to search for child care centers that are City-funded or that accept vouchers from the NYC Administration of Children's Services. These enhancements empower parents and caregivers to stay informed and make sure their children are in a stimulating, nurturing, and safe environment.
PRESS RELEASE # 011-15

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Health Department Debuts Powerful Anti-Smoking Ad, “Last Dance”

This week, the Health Department debuts “Last Dance,” a powerful anti-smoking ad produced in Australia by Quit Victoria. The ad depicts a man dying from smoking-related cancer having a last dance with his wife while their child looks on. The new ad depicts the harsh truth about smoking – it not only devastates the health of smokers, but also families who must care for the smoker and are ultimately left behind to mourn the loss of their loved one. The ad ends by asking smokers to quit smoking today.
PRESS RELEASE # 010-15

Friday, February 13, 2015

Health Department Launches New Ad Campaign to Promote Condom Use

In recognition of National Condom Awareness Day and Valentine’s Day, the Health Department today launched a new advertising campaign encouraging New Yorkers to “be sexy" and "be safe” with NYC-branded condoms by LifeStyles®. Announced today at the Museum of Sex, in partnership with City Council Health Committee Chair Corey Johnson and several local organizations, the new campaign features ads in English and Spanish that introduce words to best describe the NYC Condom – Exciting, Great Fit, Strong, Easy Access, Fun, and Available. The campaign includes ads that will run on social media and in subway cars through April.
PRESS RELEASE # 009-15

Friday, January 30, 2015

Infant Mortality Rate in New York City Reaches Historic Low

New York City’s infant mortality rate (IMR) fell to an all-time low in 2013, the Health Department reported in its annual review of infant death statistics (PDF). The infant mortality rate reflects death in infants before reaching their first birthday. The 2013 infant mortality rate – 4.6 deaths per 1,000 live births – represents a 24.6 percent decline from 6.1 in 2004, and a modest decline from 4.7 in 2012. In 2012, the most recent data available, the national infant mortality rate was 6.0 per 1,000 live births. New York City’s infant mortality rate in 2013 was 27.7 percent lower than the 2012 national rate.
PRESS RELEASE # 008-15

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Health Department Releases New Guidance to Providers About Prescribing Medications to Treat Influenza

As influenza activity continues in New York City, the Health Department released a Health Alert Notification urging clinicians citywide to prescribe influenza antiviral medications to all high-risk or severely ill patients suspected of having influenza.
PRESS RELEASE # 007-15

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Health Department and First Lady Chirlane Mccray Announce Creation of Roadmap for a More Inclusive Mental Health System

First Lady Chirlane McCray announced a partnership between the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, the Health Department, and the Fund for Public Health that will create a roadmap for a more inclusive mental health system in New York City. The goal of the roadmap is to bring together multiple City agencies, community partners, and mental health providers to develop a more comprehensive and unified approach to mental health services.
PRESS RELEASE # 006-15

Friday, January 23, 2015

Health Department Announces New Efforts to Improve Shelter Animal Care in New York City

The Health Department and Animal Care & Control of New York City (AC&C) today announced several changes that will improve the health and wellbeing of animals taken in by AC&C, one of the largest animal welfare organizations in the country. The City will provide more than $8 million in capital funding to build a new adoption center at the Manhattan Care Center, modernize the Brooklyn Care Center, double the organization’s current fleet of mobile adoption vans and expand AC&C’s fundraising capacity.
PRESS RELEASE # 005-15

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Health Department Preliminary Test Results Indicate Legionella Bacteria in Co-Op City Cooling Towers

The Health Department announced the results of preliminary tests that show that the cooling towers at Co-Op City are contaminated with the Legionella bacteria. Since December 2014, 12 cases of Legionnaires’ disease have been diagnosed among Bronx residents. Eight of the 12 recent cases have been diagnosed among Co-Op City residents.
PRESS RELEASE # 004-15

Monday, January 12, 2015

Health Department Launches New PrEP & PEP Campaign: New Ways to Prevent HIV

The Health Department launched a new outreach campaign, PrEP & PEP: New Ways to Prevent HIV , at The Oval Center at Montefiore Medical Center to provide primary care and infectious disease practices with resources to support pre-exposure and post-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP and PEP).
PRESS RELEASE # 003-15

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Health Department and Human Resources Administration Launch New Ad Campaign to Encourage New Yorkers to Sign Up for Health Insurance Before the February 15 Deadline

The Health Department and the Human Resources Administration (HRA) launched a new ad campaign to remind New Yorkers that they may qualify for a health insurance plan available through the Affordable Care Act at no cost. To find help signing up for health insurance before the open enrollment period ends on Feb. 15, New Yorkers can call 311 or text “CoveredNYC” or “SeguroNYC” to 877877 to get connected with someone who can help them enroll for health insurance in person.
PRESS RELEASE # 002-15

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Undercover Health Department Investigation Found 13 Hookah Bars in Violation of the Smoke-Free Air Act

The Health Department today announced the results of an undercover investigation that found 13 hookah bars in New York City were selling shisha that contained tobacco. Hookah bars are establishments where patrons may communally smoke substances called shisha. Shisha is composed of herbs, molasses and, frequently, tobacco. Serving shisha that contains tobacco is a violation of New York City’s 2002 Smoke-Free Air Act that prohibited smoking in workplaces, including restaurants and bars.
PRESS RELEASE # 001-15