New York state develops health priorities

April 3, 2013 at 10:28 PM
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ALBANY, N.Y., April 3 (UPI) -- New York state's health commissioner said the 2013-17 Prevention Agenda will improve New Yorkers' health, quality of life and reduce health disparities.

Dr. Nirav R. Shah, the state's health commissioner; Dr. Thomas Farley, New York City health commissioner; and representatives from healthcare and community organizations appeared at the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center in Manhattan to officially announce a statewide, five-year plan to improve the health of all New Yorkers.

The plan serves as a blueprint for local community action to improve health and address health disparities. The agenda was the result of a collaboration of more than 140 organizations, including hospitals, local health departments, health providers, health plans, employers and schools.

"Chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes are today's leading health problems. In fact, 1-in-8 New Yorkers has type 2 diabetes," Farley said.

Key focus areas include reducing obesity in adults and children; reducing death, disability and illness related to tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure; and increasing access to high-quality chronic disease preventive care.

The new priorities build on the progress made in the 2008-12 Prevention Agenda, which included an almost 15 percent increase in early diagnosis of colorectal cancer, an 8.6 percent decrease in infant mortality, 15 percent adults quit smoking; 23 percent of adolescents quit smoking; an 8 percent decrease in child asthma-related hospitalizations and a decline in female breast cancer mortality of 18 percent.

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