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“Part of the reason this (Legionnaires’' disease) outbreak hit us so hard is because of the existing public health disparities in our Borough. For six consecutive years, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation named us the least healthy county in New York State—62 of 62. That was somber news. But we acted. And we are seeing real progress. We’re funding improved parks, ensuring access to healthier foods in every community, getting people exercising and more. Today, we’re improving health outcomes in The Bronx. More than 100 bodegas received awards for participating in the “Shop Healthy” initiative, which incentivizes small businesses to provide nutritious food options. These efforts, combined with our #NOT62 social media campaign, are making The Bronx a healthier place. In October, the same organization that rated us last in the state awarded us their prestigious ‘Culture of Health’Prize in recognition of our significant efforts. But we can and must do more.” - Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.
The excerpt above is from the February 18, 2016 "State of the Borough" address Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. gave at Cardinal Hayes High School. In it he provided a summary of the positive changes happening in the Bronx over the past six years including more than 23,000 new housing units, new job growth, and $28 million to fund various park projects that proves the Bronx Borough president is making health a priority for all Bronx residents.
Bronx HealthREACH commends Ruben Diaz Jr. for pointing to the efforts that many are implementing to reduce health disparities in the Bronx. As we work with our community partners such SoBRO, The Bodega Association, TransportationAlternatives Bronx Activist Committee, and Casita Maria on our Healthy Restaurant Initiative, Healthy Bodega Training, increased bike lanes and safe streets we know we are improving the health ranking of the Bronx. Last November Bronx Health REACH held the #Not62-The Campaign for a Healthy Bronx! Clergy/Legislators meeting with clergy/lay leaders and Bronx elected officials to discuss and determine action steps needed to improve the health and well-being of all Bronx residents. Many in attendance were not aware of the Bronx ranking 62 out of 62 counties. In anticipation of the 2016 report to be released in March, Bronx Health REACH is planning an April 2nd town hall event open to the public to disseminate the information and to encourage the community to get more involved in efforts to improve the lives of all who live, work, play and pray in the Bronx.
Whether it is the five Institute for Family Health centers in the Bronx offering top-quality, patient-centered services to people of all ages, regardless of their financial situation, or the work Bronx Health REACH is doing with schools and bodegas and other healthy living initiatives with our partners, we are committed to improving the health and well being of all Bronx residents.
You can view/read his full speech here.