November 20, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release # 053-15
Friday, November 20, 2015

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

Health Department Releases Bronx 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 20, 2015 - The Health Department today released its Bronx Community Health Profiles, detailing the health of all 12 community districts in the borough. Each Profile outlines the health of a Bronx 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, the Profiles reveal that while there are many neighborhoods in very good health, there are significant health inequities that persist in Bronx neighborhoods: for example, in Morrisania and Crotona, death rates due to drug use, homicide, and HIV more than twice the city rates. The profiles were released at the Bronx Borough Service Cabinet meeting. The Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, Manhattan, and Brooklyn Profiles can be found at nyc.gov/health. The complete set of 59 Community Health Profiles are available online at nyc.gov/doh.

“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.”

“Health is one of the most important determinants for achieving well-being - and these comprehensive health profiles will aid my office and our borough’s health service providers in maximizing our public health initiatives, such as the #NOT62 campaign, while creating a more meaningful understanding of our community’s health,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr . “I appreciate the efforts of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on this project, and I look forward to incorporating this critical data into my office’s own initiatives as we move forward towards a healthier Bronx.”

"We are so grateful to the NYCDOHMH for their work in presenting this data to the public. People need to understand the significant differences in health that exist in adjacent communities,” said Charmaine Ruddock, MS, Director of the Institute for Family Health/Bronx Health REACH project and a co-founder of # Not 62-The Campaign for A Healthy Bronx . “The new data on neighborhood conditions that looks beyond the usual health indicators to include indicators on social and economic conditions will be particularly useful as those of us in healthcare and public health seek to partner and collaborate with those in housing, business, schools, just to name a few, to improve the health of all Bronx residents irrespective of their zip code. This is at the heart of #Not62- The Campaign for A Healthy Bronx.”

A Community Health Profile has been 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 Bronx Community Health Profiles:

  • In Throgs Neck and Co-op City, 12 percent of residents live below the Federal Poverty Level -the lowest poverty rate in the Bronx. The community district has a similar percentage of homes with maintenance defects compared to the city overall. The air pollution level is lower than the Bronx overall, but higher than the city. Residents in Throgs Neck and Co-op City smoke at a similar rate to residents of the Bronx and the city as a whole.
  • In Morrisania and Crotona, 44 percent of the residents live below the Federal Poverty Level -the highest poverty rate in the city. About one in five Morrisania and Crotona adults aged 16 and older are unemployed, and 61 percent of residents spend more than 30 percent of their monthly gross income on rent. Drug and/or alcohol related hospitalizations rates are more than double the rates in NYC; Morrisania and Crotona have the highest rates of alcohol- and drug-related hospitalizations in the city. The leading causes of death are heart disease and cancer, which have higher rates than the city overall.
  • Seventy-one percent of residents in Parkchester and Soundview self-report their own health as ‘excellent, ‘very good,’ or ‘good.” Adults in the district are more likely than adults citywide to get tested for HIV, and more likely to receive flu vaccinations. The rate of infant mortality in Parkchester and Soundview is lower than the citywide rate; however, the rate of premature death in the community district higher than NYC overall.

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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