Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

public health

public health

  • (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    Helping children through a pandemic (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The Surgeon General’s rare public advisory made official what we as social workers have known for 22 months – that the pandemic has accelerated a mental health crisis for children. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and

    ...
  • 31735559246 1e6049737c c

    Fighting addiction and overdose in NYC (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office)


    In recent weeks, news broke that according to provisional figures from the National Center for Health Statistics, more than 100,000 Americans died of overdoses within a 12-month period ending in April 2021. For the first time in history, overdose deaths in the United States have exceeded 100,000 in a year, a value greater than the toll

    ...
  • birthing options

    A push for better birthing options (photo via NYSALM)


    This op-ed is adapted from a public letter being sent to Governor Kathy Hochul by birth practitioners, advocates, educators, and leaders and reflects a petition already signed by more than 1,000 New Yorkers in support of the Midwifery Birth Center Bill.

    Midwifery birth centers provide high-value, evidence-based, patient-centered care that has been proven to result in positive health outcomes, cost savings, and health equity—and could be essential to advancing birth equity in New

    ...
  • cm da hols

    City Council Member Diana Ayala (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    November 24, 2021 - Max Politics Podcast: City Council Member Diana Ayala on Mental Health Oversight, Running for Speaker, & More

    City Council Member Diana Ayala joined the show to discuss her work in the City Council, especially on mental health policy oversight, her run for City Council Speaker, and more.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think, on Twitter @TweetBenMax. You can listen to the

    ...
  • comm baby exp

    A new mom (photo: Edwin J Torres/Mayor's Office)


    While the media has started to connect heat-related deaths to climate change over the past few years, one particularly vulnerable group is too rarely discussed in reporting and not reflected in policy: pregnant people and newborns. As the climate crisis gets worse, we need policies to prevent dangerous outcomes and to undo vast inequities in pregnancy. 

    After centuries of disenfranchisement, many pregnant people of color living in New York City sit at the intersection of systemic racism, health

    ...
  • raifman barhart op

    A vaccine block party in Rochester (photo: Rachel Barnhart)


    On a recent Saturday in Rochester, New York, dozens of people lined up to get vaccinated against COVID-19 at a neighborhood festival. The event featured the opening of a new playground, free lunch from food trucks, and $100 gift cards for receiving a first dose of the vaccine. To celebrate the approval of child vaccines and of boosters, we can have national and state Block Party Weekends for children and their caregivers. These fun events can play a key role in reaching the one-third of

    ...
  • lyn schu ph

    Lynn Schulman, right, the author (photo: Schulman 2021)


    Last October, I got scary news. It was during an annual screening (and ironically, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month). At first, I was told there was a suspicious spot and it was probably nothing.

    But subsequent tests and procedures revealed that the spot was actually a small, malignant tumor.

    I was stunned.

    But still, I wasn’t about to let a diagnosis derail my dream of serving my community as an elected official. As any woman will tell you, our success often means keeping our

    ...
  • 2 sub treatment rule

    Governor Hochul at an addiction-prevention event (photo: governor's office)


    A new state regulation on access to medication-assisted treatment for those with substance use disorders is causing confusion and threatening patients’ recovery, providers say as they call on Governor Kathy Hochul to use her executive authority to immediately fix the problem.

    On October 1, the state Department of Health began implementing a new statewide formulary that outlines coverage parameters for Medicaid patients receiving medication-assisted treatment

    ...
  • holds bor press

    Mayor de Blasio & company make an announcement (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    What is going on at Rikers Island? As former physicians on Rikers Island and in other city jails, we have been horrified to hear of the unsafe, unhygienic, violent, and deadly conditions there. Over 12 people have died this year alone. To prevent more suffering and death, courts need to release thousands of people immediately and to stop sending more people in.

    Despite limitations associated with the jail setting, we worked hard to provide excellent medical

    ...
  • carlina rivera hh

    City Council Member Carlina Rivera (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    October 1, 2021 - Max Politics Podcast: City Council Member Carlina Rivera on Hospitals Oversight & More

    City Council Member Carlina Rivera, a Manhattan Democrat who chairs the Council's Committee on Hospitals, joined the show to discuss two recent hearings she chaired, including one on the city's covid vaccine program, her upcoming legislative priorities, her bid to become the next City Council Speaker, and more.

    Listen to the

    ...
  • 1 signs legis

    Then-Gov. Cuomo signs legislation (photo: Darren McGee/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)


    In the aftermath of the highest number of overdose deaths recorded in New York State in a single year, advocates and substance use treatment providers are calling on Governor Kathy Hochul to sign what they call a crucial piece of legislation to reverse the trend. Without the new governor’s signature, they say, the state’s recently-established two-tiered substance use treatment system, with greater barriers to access for lower-income New Yorkers, will continue and

    ...
  • mpo gov rep

    NYC rats are a problem (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    New York City is inundated with rats! Dirty, dangerous, destructive rats that are also very aggressive. The phrase “Brazen as a New York City rat” has a solid foundation in reality. Mostly we tolerate rats because we think there’s nothing much to be done about them. A few traps, some poison, maybe a new garbage can, but, typically, not much beyond such meager

    ...
  • rights stands rep

    Gov. Hochul leads a press conference on abortion rights (photo: Don Pollard/Governor’s Office)


    In response to the recent ban in Texas and upcoming Supreme Court case, Governor Kathy Hochul declared New York ...

  • phd hold elec

    Mayor de Blasio's 'recovery budget' was helped by federal aid (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Since the March passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, the nation's most recent pandemic-era stimulus package, de Blasio administration officials have been crafting a plan to use close to $5.9 billion in direct federal funding to New York City government.

    A new report from the de Blasio administration, required by the federal stimulus

    ...
  • schools chance porter

    Back to school (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    We’ve all seen the news lately. It’s rife with images of chaotic school board meetings and rallies starring adults engaged in tantrums, which we would never tolerate from our children. Every parent wants what they believe is best for their children. However, if we want them to get back to school safely, the adults in the metaphorical room need to stop fighting and adhere to public health guidelines.

    As health care professionals, our message is that children should safely

    ...
  • 1 low income long term covid

    New Yorkers lined up for food (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    Newly-released survey data confirms lower-income New Yorkers were far more worried about the long-term effects of the pandemic and its economic fallout than their moderate- and higher-income counterparts after the pandemic's first and most devastating peak last spring.

    According to a study conducted by Community Service Society -- a nonprofit advocating for

    ...
  • time for reset

    New York City food (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    In less than six months, a new Mayor and dozens of City Council members will join their returning colleagues to chart a course for governing the city in the coming years. Even sooner, a new New York Governor will need to determine her priorities. While policy options on public safety, education, and restoring the economy have attracted headlines, food policy is another challenge that requires attention from our elected officials.

    As the Delta variant jeopardizes the city’s public health, the

    ...
  • vaccine hearing covid

    City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Health Chair Mark Levine (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    After weeks of flagging covid vaccine rates, ongoing racial disparities among the vaccinated, and the troubling spread of the Delta variant, Mayor Bill de Blasio is taking his first steps to impose more coercive vaccine policies in New York City. The mayor announced on Monday an upcoming mandate for all city workers to be vaccinated or subject to weekly covid testing, while encouraging private sector actors to institute their own

    ...
  • Gotham Gazette: Amid rising overdoses, mental health and harm reduction support is more important

    The Mayor at an overdose prevention event (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    I know what it’s like to be on the front lines of an infectious disease. I launched my career in harm reduction in the 1980s, at the height of the HIV epidemic. Just like with HIV, the fallout from COVID-19 is not limited to the lives we’ve lost to the infection itself—there are ripple effects that will be felt long after our city fully re-opens.

    This time, it’s the twin tragedy of the

    ...
  • brave heart bk

    Fast food drinks (photo: @brraveheart)


    A fast-food combo meal, perfect for lunch in a New York minute, right? Not so fast. A recent study of fast-food chain restaurants found that the default drink size included with combo meals at most restaurants contains more than an entire day’s worth of added sugars.

    With New Yorkers resorting to fast food out of convenience or necessity due to limited access to healthier options, it becomes an issue of public health and equity

    ...
  • 1 primary voters public

    Vaccination (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    For the first time in more than a year, New Yorkers are starting to see a light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel. The city is finally leaping toward the promised “new normal” as basketball fans flood arenas and restaurant patrons spill into the streets with fewer worries about masking up and keeping distance. When our next mayor and City Council take office in January, we’re optimistic that the covid pandemic will be truly behind us.

    But for many New Yorkers, the health

    ...
  • queens applaud staff

    Emergency department (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office )


    As New York finally begins to lift health restrictions related to the novel coronavirus, the next generation of leaders need to take the necessary steps to ensure that when, not if, another pandemic comes to our communities we are better prepared. Unfortunately, this time around too many communities of color, like in Southeast Queens, lacked the necessary resources and infrastructure to effectively handle this crisis; we cannot let that happen again.

    Fortunately

    ...
  • greet workers avail

    Taking on covid (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    By now, every New Yorker knows someone who has been infected with COVID-19 or has had it themselves. Since the start of this pandemic, over 800,000 New York City residents have had a positive test. And a year into the fight against this disease, we know that the battle is far from over, as New Yorkers grapple with the effects of ...

  • gov cuomo vaccine

    Gov. Cuomo (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    Governor Cuomo has worked hard to cultivate a national reputation as the Emmy Award-winning hero of his own covid reality show – so why is he stripping federal resources from hospitals, clinics, and health centers on the front lines of the crisis? 

    Last year, the Cuomo Administration included a provision in the state budget that would cost safety net providers an estimated $154 million in federal resources the first year and $1.5 billion over five years. This Albany accounting

    ...
  • 5x5mashup 1

    Top (l-r): Carlos Menchaca, Dianne Morales, Scott Stringer, Loree Sutton, Maya Wiley,
    Bottom (l-r): Eric Adams, Shaun Donovan, Kathryn Garcia, Ray McGuire, Andrew Yang


    Eleven Democratic candidates for mayor appeared at a virtual forum on Tuesday focused on how they would shape health policy to be more equitable in New York City, especially amidst and in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought the city’s health care infrastructure under considerable strain and has had a starkly unequal racial impact. The pandemic has thrust the issues of

    ...