NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Wednesday, April 22, 2015, 2:30 AM
City Hall is declaring war on premature death.
Mayor de Blasio will announce an ambitious plan Wednesday to try to reduce the city’s premature mortality rate by 25% by 2040, in large part by targeting poor neighborhoods with preventive health programs.
The new target is part of de Blasio’s “One New York: The Plan for a Strong and Just City” report, which will address climate change, infrastructure improvements and health issues.
City records show 15,078 people died before the age of 65 in 2013, with heart disease, cancer and drug overdose the leading causes of mortality.
To reach the ambitious goal of bringing that number down to 11,309, the city will mainly rely on a series of small initiatives.
They include partnering with upstate farmers to bring fresh food to neighborhoods with few healthy options, fixing up schoolyards to encourage kids to exercise and repairing roofs on NYCHA buildings to get rid of mold.
Officials do not have a cost estimate for the plan.
A huge part of the initiative will involve targeting the poorest neighborhoods in the city, said Health Commissioner Mary Bassett.
“It’s really focusing on making sure that every neighborhood is a healthy neighborhood, and recognizing the fact that we have unequal health outcomes by neighborhood,” she said.
For example, the city’s infant mortality rate is 4.6 for every 1,000 live births, one of the best in the country. But city statistics from 2013 show that in Jamaica and St. Albans, Queens, that figure climbs to to 9.0 deaths for every 1,000 live births — compared to 1.0 deaths on the Upper East Side.
To combat that divide, the city will add seven health centers in low-income neighborhoods to offer support to pregnant women.