November 4, 2015

Press Release # 049-15
Wednesday, November 4, 2015

MEDIA CONTACT: Christopher Miller/Carolina Rodriguez/Julien Martinez (347) 396-4177

Health Department Releases Staten Island Community Health Profiles

The Community Health Profiles highlight inequity and encourage community engagement: they are comprehensive reports of neighborhood health, looking at 42 health and non-health indicators

Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett will review the profile findings for each community district at the Staten Island Borough Service Cabinet meeting

The Health Department today 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. Overall, while the Profiles reveal that while there are many neighborhoods in very good health, there are significant health inequities that persist in Staten Island neighborhoods: for example, in Tottenville and Great Kills, death rates due to heart disease, cancer, flu and pneumonia, lower respiratory diseases, accidents and drug use are higher than the citywide rates. The profiles will be released at the Staten Island Borough Service Cabinet meeting. The Staten Island, Manhattan, and Brooklyn Profiles can be found at The complete set of 59 Community Health Profiles will be available online at the end of the year.

“The Health Department’s Community Health Profiles represent the most comprehensive picture of neighborhood health that we have ever produced, including not only traditional measures of health, but indicators that offer a larger health portrait of a neighborhood such as housing and air quality, supermarket space, and school absenteeism,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “Our goal is to put this information into the hands of community members themselves so we can put an end to the notion that a person’s health should be determined by his or her ZIP code.”

“Since taking office in January 2014, I have worked to improve the overall health of Staten Islanders through education, encouragement and inspiration,” noted Staten Island Borough President James Oddo. “These community health profiles offer pertinent information that can help us determine where we need to take our efforts and if we need to alter our approach – or message – in specific neighborhoods.”

“Staten Island is burdened with troubling health outcomes despite having strong access to healthcare services,” said Adrienne Abbate, Executive Director of Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness. “The Health Department Community Health Profiles will provide rich data to better understand the drivers of health at the neighborhood level looking beyond just behavior and lifestyle to include social, economic, and environmental factors. SIPCW and our partners will use this information to develop cross-sector community-level interventions to collaboratively address Staten Island’s most complex health issues. The key to transforming a community is to ensure that all players are at the table.”

A Community Health Profile will be produced for every community district in the city. Every Profile begins with a “Who We Are” section, which outlines the population in that district with a breakdown by ethnicity and age. Further, it includes the percentage of those who reported their own health as ‘excellent,” very good,” or “good,” and the life expectancy of residents in that district. The Profile is then broken down into five data sections:

(New Indicators) Neighborhood Conditions

  • Housing Quality
  • Air Pollution
  • Retail Environment

Social and Economic Conditions

  • Adult Education Attainment
  • Income
  • (New) Children and Adolescents
  • (New) Incarceration
  • (New) Violence

Healthy Living

  • Self-reported Health
  • Smoking, Diet and Physical Activity
  • Obesity and Diabetes
  • Substance Use

Health Care

  • Access to Health Care
  • Prevention and Screening

Health Outcomes

  • New HIV Diagnoses
  • Stroke
  • Mental Health
  • Child Asthma
  • Adult Hospitalizations for Asthma
  • Adult Hospitalizations for Diabetes
  • Leading Causes of Death
  • Infant Mortality and Premature Death

For reference, each data point is compared to the best performing community district, the borough, and New York City as a whole.

Over the coming several weeks and months, Health Department will meet with community organizations, medical providers, community boards, and elected officials to present the Profiles and discuss health issues that each community is facing. New Yorkers can also get the latest information on their neighborhoods by going to and searching for “Community Health Profiles.”

Some findings from the Staten Island Community Health Profiles:

  •  In Tottenville and Great Kills, six percent of residents live below the Federal Poverty Level – the lowest poverty rate among NYC neighborhoods. The community district has the lowest percentage of homes with maintenance defects in the city. The air pollution level is the second lowest in the city. Residents in Tottenville and Great Kills smoke at a similar rate to residents of Staten Island and the city as a whole.


  •  In St. George and Stapleton, 20 percent of the residents live below the Federal Poverty Level. About one in 11 St. George and Stapleton adults aged 16 and older are unemployed, and half of residents spend more than 30 percent of their monthly gross income on rent. Drug and/or alcohol related hospitalizations rates are lower than the rates in Staten Island and NYC overall. The leading causes of death are heart disease and cancer, which have higher rates than the city overall.


  • Eighty-four percent of residents in South Beach and Willowbrook self-report their own health as ‘excellent, ‘very good,’ or ‘good.” Adults in the district are less likely as adults citywide to get tested for HIV, but equally as likely to receive flu vaccinations. The rate of infant mortality in South Beach and Willowbrook is lower than the citywide rate; however, the rate of premature death for the community district is twice that of the Financial District.

For these Community Health Profiles, the Health Department used community districts established by local law in 1975. The community districts correspond to local Community Boards. The former reports had used United Hospital Fund areas. The Health Department used several data sources to produce these Community Health Profiles. These included the U.S. Census American Community Survey (ACS), the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) Community Health Survey, an annual, random-digit-dial telephone survey of approximately 9,000 adults conducted each year in New York City, DOHMH Vital Statistics, the New York State Department of Health Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System, which provides hospitalization data in New York City, the NYC Housing and Vacancy Survey, the NYC Community Air Survey, DOHMH Citywide Immunization Registry, and the DOHMH HIV/AIDS Surveillance Registry. Other data were provided by the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs, the NYC Department of Education, the NYC Department of Corrections, and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.