Welcome to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
With an annual budget of $1.6 billion and more than 6,000 employees throughout the five boroughs, we're one of the largest public health agencies in the world. We are also one of the nation's oldest public health agencies, with more than 200 years of leadership in the field.
Every day, we protect and promote the health of 8 million New Yorkers. Our work is broad-ranging. You see us in the inspection grades of dining establishments, the licenses dogs wear, the low- to no-cost health clinics in your neighborhood and the birth certificates for our youngest New Yorkers.
We are also behind the scenes with our disease detectives, investigating suspicious clusters of illness. Our epidemiologists study the patterns, causes and effects of health and disease conditions in New York City neighborhoods. These studies shape policy decisions and the City's health agenda.
The challenges we face are many. They range from obesity, diabetes and heart disease to HIV/AIDS, tobacco addiction, substance use and the threat of bioterrorism. We are also working to address enduring gaps in health between white New Yorkers and communities of color. Structural racism is at the root of these health inequities, which is why we have made racial justice a priority.
The New York City Health Department is tackling these issues with innovative policies and programs, and getting exceptional results.
The Health Department acknowledges how stressful and painful this past year has been. The loss of loved ones, jobs, businesses, homes, and livelihoods, combined with feelings of uncertainty, sadness, fear, and worry, have been a huge weight on us all. We acknowledge that Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and continue to experience and resist the daily impact and reality of years of disinvestment, racism, biased treatment and oppression.
We acknowledge the historical and contemporary injustices in government and health care that have deepened distrust and contributed to the causes of individual and collective trauma and structural inequities. The Health Department names racism as a public health crisis and commits to becoming an anti-racist institution that acknowledges our history, takes action to eliminate inequities, and protects and promotes the health of all New Yorkers.