Posted on October 20, 2021

NYC Board of Health Declares Racism a Public Health Crisis

Jaclyn Jeffrey-Wilensky, Gothamist, October 18, 2021

Following in the footsteps of hundreds of state and local governments, the New York City Board of Health has declared racism a public health crisis. The announcement includes a list of action items for the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

The board ratified the resolution during a Monday afternoon meeting. The to-dos range from beefing up the city’s race and health data offerings to amending city policies that contribute to racial health disparities.

As part of the resolution, the health department will have to review how its own policies have exacerbated racial differences in access to healthcare. It will also make policy recommendations, including suggestions for changes to the New York City Charter and Health Code. The health department will have to report its progress to the board twice per year.


{snip} In the intervening time, at least 75 local health departments, a handful of states, nearly 100 city councils and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have made similar declarations. {snip}