November 17, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release # 051-15
Tuesday, November 17, 2015

MEDIA CONTACT:
Christopher Miller/Julien Martinez:
(347) 396-4177, pressoffice@health.nyc.gov

Health Department Releases Queens 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

November 17, 2015 – The Health Department today 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. 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 Queens neighborhoods: for example, in Jamaica and Hollis, death rates due to diabetes, stroke, hypertension, and homicide are higher than the citywide rates. The profiles were released at the Queens Borough Service Cabinet meeting. The Queens, Staten Island, Manhattan, and Brooklyn Profiles can be found at nyc.gov/health. The complete set of 59 Community Health Profiles will be available online at nyc.gov/doh by the end of November.

“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.”

“Public Health Solutions chose Queens as the center of our place-based public health work because it is an area of both great need and great opportunity,” said Lisa David, President and CEO of Public Health Solutions . “The Community Health Profiles will help us to better identify and understand the root causes of the health disparities we see every day in our work throughout the borough. Knowledge is power, and we look forward to using this new knowledge in our fight to ensure that all residents of Queens have an equal opportunity to live a healthy life.”

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 nyc.gov/health and searching for “Community Health Profiles.”

Some findings from the Queens Community Health Profiles:

  • In Bayside and Little Neck, nine percent of residents live below the Federal Poverty Level – one of the lowest poverty rates among NYC neighborhoods. The community district has a lower percentage of homes with maintenance defects than the city overall. The air pollution level is lower than Queens and NYC overall. Residents in Bayside and Little Neck smoke at a similar rate to residents of Queens and the city as a whole.
  • In Jamaica and Hollis, 17 percent of the residents live below the Federal Poverty Level. About one in seven Jamaica and Hollis adults aged 16 and older are unemployed, and over half of residents spend more than 30 percent of their monthly gross income on rent. Drug and/or alcohol related hospitalizations rates are higher than the Queens averages, but lower than the citywide rates. The leading causes of death are heart disease and cancer, which have lower rates than the city overall.
  • Sixty-nine percent of residents in Elmhurst and Corona 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 more likely to receive flu vaccinations. The rate of infant mortality in Elmhurst and Corona is higher than the citywide rate; however, the rate of premature death in the community district is the seventh-lowest in the city.

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.

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