Friday, February 22, 2019

Bronx Health REACH Testifies at City Council Hearings

Bronx Health REACH Director Charmaine Ruddock testified in support of the New York Health Act.

On December 6th, Bronx Health REACH Project Director Charmaine Ruddock provided testimony to the New York City Council in support of the New York Health Act. The New York City Council was voting to call on the New York State Legislature and Governor to pass the New York Health Act, that would guarantee publicly-funded healthcare for all New York State residents without deductibles, co-pays or out-of-network charges. Charmaine spoke on how the passing of the New York Health Act would benefit Bronx residents since the borough is currently not only the unhealthiest county in New York State, but has the largest percentage of uninsured adults (22%) and the largest percentage of adults going without needed medical care (12%). The New York Health Act would enable more Bronx residents to live healthier, longer lives.

The New York Health Act would also provide Bronx residents access to the same quality of healthcare others receive in other parts of NYC and would improve health outcomes for all residents. NY Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried and former NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Mary T. Bassett also testified before the Council, as did Dr. Bassett's mother, who is seated next to Charmaine in the photo above.

Moria Byrne-Zaaloff spoke in support of nutrition education.

On January 16th, the New York City Council held a hearing on the Food and Nutrition Education Reporting Bill. This Bill would require the New York City Department of Education to submit an annual report of food and nutrition education classes to the New York City Council.

Moria Byrne-Zaaloff, Bronx Health REACH’s Program Coordinator for Creating Healthy Schools and Communities testified on the lack of nutrition education in NYC public schools, its importance, and the anticipated impact the bill would have in improving the healthy eating of public school students.

Currently, there isn't any publicly available information on how many schools are actively implementing nutrition education to meet NYC health education requirements. With a reporting system in place, schools and school-based partners focused on nutrition education will have a better sense of gaps and barriers to providing nutrition education in NYC public schools.

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