FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, January 15, 2020
Contact: Jonah Allon, firstname.lastname@example.org, 929-291-8881
WITH RENEWED FOCUS ON HEALTH CARE INEQUITIES DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC, BP ADAMS JOINS PUBLIC HEALTH LEADERS TO PROMOTE NEW INITIATIVE USING CUTTING-EDGE TECHNOLOGY TO ADDRESS CHRONIC HEALTH ISSUES IN EAST NEW YORK
Brooklyn, NY – Today, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams joined Dreyfus Health Policy and Research Center Director Dr. Barry Smith, along with health care start-up pulseData and the One Brooklyn Health System, to promote a new initiative called Rise Up East New York, a community-led effort, which aims to address the disproportionately high rate of chronic health issues in one of Brooklyn’s most economically challenged neighborhoods, guided by the overriding concept of health as a product of the totality of society, and not just biology. The initiative, which partners with local health care institutions and other organizations from many sectors, will employ cutting-edge technological solutions and community engagement to prevent disease and improve health outcomes for those suffering from chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and kidney disease. Borough President Adams and Dr. Smith touted this model as a way to reduce the vast health care disparities throughout the city, which have been thrown into sharp relief during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the stark disparities in our health care system, which have led to a disproportionate toll in communities of color. Neighborhoods like East New York have been hit and continue to be hit the hardest. While we are still fighting this pandemic, we need to look at the underlying conditions that contributed to the disparities we are seeing now. As someone who went through my own health journey, I believe it’s critical that we tackle the unacceptably high rates of chronic disease in Black and Brown communities, and Rise Up East New York is an exciting new initiative that can reframe how we think about chronic disease and what kinds of interventions are necessary to improve individual and public health, simultaneously,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
“The current health and quality of life statistics, including those for the COVID-19 pandemic, are quite simply unacceptable — and unnecessary. Rise Up East New York is all about changing those statistics for the better and making East New York, Brooklyn, a shining example of what the community itself can do to make health and lives better,” said Dreyfus Health Policy and Research Center Director Barry H. Smith, M.D. PhD.
East New York has long suffered from significant public health challenges. According to a 2018 Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) Community Health Survey, the rate of avoidable hospitalizations, which are defined as hospitalizations that could be prevented if adults had access to quality primary care, is more than double the citywide rate among adults in East New York and Starrett City. East New York and Starrett City’s adult obesity rate is 35 percent, 11 points higher than the citywide rate. 14 percent of residents have diabetes, while 34 percent have hypertension, according to the Community Health Survey.
These same challenges have made East New York one of the epicenters of COVID-19. The City’s statistics show that the 11239 zip code, which encompasses East New York, has averaged 104 per 100,000 cases in the past 7 days – the 5th highest rate in the five boroughs currently. Overall to date, the zip code’s death rate stands at about 799 per 100,000 – one of the highest in the five boroughs.