"Public health is purchasable. Within natural limitations, a community can determine its own death rate."
- Hermann M. Biggs, NYC Department of Health, 1914
The NYC Health Department has been protecting the health of those who live, work, and visit New York City for over 200 years. This work involves insuring our food is safe and healthy, our air and water are free from contaminants, quality health care is accessible, and that our city is ready for any natural or manmade event that threatens our health.
The NYC Health Department is doctor to the entire population of New York City - a big job - and a doctor whose priority is to keep New Yorkers healthy as opposed to treating them when they're sick. There are over 8 million New Yorkers - patients - to care for each day, and the Department employs over 6,000 staff - from restaurant inspectors to nutritionists to school doctors - to keep New Yorkers in good health.
So how healthy are we?
New Yorkers are living longer than ever before. From 2002 to 2008:
New York City has become a global leader in public health. The successes that have been achieved were the result of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration's focus on innovative and transformative ideas--which were later replicated by other cities, states, and countries. Despite this excellent bill of health, there is still a long way to go. Obesity and diabetes rates are getting worse and NYC remains the epicenter of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the U.S. Only one-third of New Yorkers with depression are being treated. Excessive drinking prompted more than 70,000 emergency-room visits among NYC adults last year alone and each year, approximately 1,500 deaths among New Yorkers can be attributed to alcohol consumption. The NYC Health Department is poised to address these problems, but government alone cannot solve them.
To learn more about the work that the NYC Health Department is doing to improve the health and quality of life of New Yorkers, visit www.nyc.gov/health. For the latest Health Department news subscribe to NYC Health Department's RSS feed. You can also follow FPHNY on Facebook where we'll update you on Health Department news and developments. The documents below also describe DOHMH goals, best practices, and future directions and priorities. Please explore how this vast agency is working tirelessly - around the clock and across the centuries - to keep you healthy. Learn more about how you can Get Involved.