|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 2, 2006
Citing New Yorkers’ High Chronic Disease Rates, Public Hospitals to Offer Preventive Health Screenings that Save Lives
Thousands Expected to Take Part in Free or Low-Cost Health Screenings Available Every Tuesday in October
New York City – The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) today announced a month long public health campaign to get more New Yorkers screened for chronic diseases that can be prevented or easily treated and managed if caught early. HHC’s Take Care New York campaign will feature weekly screening sessions in every borough where children and adults can walk in to get low or no-cost health tests, counseling and information for diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, asthma, depression, HIV, cancer and more. The aggressive city-wide outreach program will feature public service ads and marketing materials in English, Spanish, Albanian, Bengali, Chinese, French, Korean, Polish, Russian and Urdu – languages most common among HHC’s patient population.
"Too many New Yorkers have life-threatening and chronic diseases and don't know it. A simple health test could prevent thousands of illnesses and disabilities and ultimately save lives," said HHC President Alan D. Aviles. "Through our multi-language Take Care New York outreach effort, we expect to screen thousands of children and adults, help detect many diseases early and quickly connect patients to treatment."
HHC's Take Care New York health screenings at dozens of locations throughout the city every Tuesday in October - Oct. 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, and 31st - will feature information and education on disease prevention and affordable health insurance. Some events will include flu vaccinations and life-style improvement sessions such as smoking cessation, weight loss, nutrition and exercise. The health screenings are available to all New Yorkers regardless of immigration status or ability to pay. New Yorkers can dial 311 or visit www.nyc.gov/hhc to find a complete list of locations and other helpful health information.
Screening tests, early detection and early treatment can help address these NYC health facts:
- Heart disease is the #1 cause of death regardless of race, ethnicity or gender.
- Stroke is the 4th leading cause of death.
- Diabetes in NYC has doubled in the past 10 years; 530,000 adult New Yorkers know they have diabetes; some 265,000 have it and don’t know it.
- Asthma is the leading cause of school absences among children and the most common cause of hospitalization for children 14 years and younger.
- An estimated 20,000 New Yorkers are living with HIV/AIDS, but do not know they are infected and 1,000 New Yorkers each year first learn they have HIV when they are already sick with AIDS.
- Depression affects nearly 1 in 7 New Yorkers.
- Influenza and pneumonia together were the third leading cause of death among New Yorkers 65 and older.
- Colon cancer, the most preventable form of cancer, kills 1,500 NYC residents annually.
- Breast cancer kills about 1,260 in NYC every year and nearly one fourth of women over 40 had not had a recent mammogram.
HHC's Take Care New York campaign is an extensive public awareness health outreach effort with events at all HHC hospitals, diagnostic and treatment centers, local clinics and other community based sites. Individuals without health insurance will be able to get help on site to apply for any health insurance plan they may qualify for or learn how to access affordable medical services at HHC hospitals and clinics. Participants will receive free round-trip MetroCards, while supplies last.
HHC’s Take Care New York campaign is supported by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Mayor’s Office of Citywide Health Insurance Access, the American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association, HealthFirst and MetroPlus.
The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) is the largest municipal healthcare system in the country. HHC operates a network of 11 hospitals, six diagnostic and treatment centers, four long-term care facilities, more than 80 community clinics and a home health care agency. HHC provides care to all regardless of ability to pay. HHC serves 1.3 million New Yorkers annually, including more than 450,000 who have no health insurance.