FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 8, 2009
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES SUCCESS IN HELPING NEW YORKERS LIVE LONGER, HEALTHIER LIVES IN WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg's weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, March 8, 2009
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"With so many businesses and families struggling to pull through this recession, good news has been pretty hard to come by lately. But this morning, I'm happy to bring you a big dose of it: When it comes to taking charge of our health, New Yorkers are doing better than ever.
"This uplifting diagnosis comes from a report that the City's Health Department compiles each year to measure the effectiveness of our ambitious health agenda, 'Take Care New York.' And the best part is that many of the gains we're seeing are taking place in low-income and minority communities, which for too long have suffered disproportionately from the city's biggest health problems.
"Let's start with the basics. Today, 364,000 more New Yorkers have a regular doctor than did in 2002 - one of the simplest but most critical things we can do to be proactive about our health. And what's equally encouraging is that black New Yorkers are now nearly as likely as whites to have doctors that they see consistently.
"Smoking is another area where we've made huge
progress. Because of our innovative anti-smoking policies, New York City
has 300,000 fewer smokers today than in 2002. Many of our efforts have
specifically focused on Hispanics, Chinese New Yorkers, and other ethnic
populations with high rates of smoking - and this is exactly where we've seen
the biggest decreases.
"In addition, fewer New Yorkers are dying from alcohol and drugs. And fewer New Yorkers are dying from AIDS - although there has been a troubling increase in new HIV infections among certain high-risk groups. But this fact only inspires us to work even harder to link people with HIV to consistent, high-quality care as early as possible.
"Unfortunately, there also have been a couple of other disturbing developments. Fewer women over 40 are going for potentially life-saving mammograms, mirroring a trend we're seeing nationwide. The percentage of seniors getting flu shots has also decreased slightly. But we're hopeful that a new State law that allows pharmacists to provide the flu vaccine will help us reverse this trend.
"Overall, New York City is healthier than ever.
And as further proof of this: the city's average life expectancy has grown by 15
months since our administration began in 2002. So let me congratulate all
New Yorkers on being proactive about their health.
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958