In 2017, our nation spent $3.5 trillion on health care (which grew in 2018). As a population, we have not achieved a level of health that matches this enormous investment--we’re not even close. In order to reverse the trend, we must reduce chronic conditions to improve health outcomes and increase life expectancy. This means prioritizing prevention while also addressing systemic disparities. 


City Hall Update: My Recent Work on Health Issues


As the City Council’s Health Committee Chair I strongly believe that good health is a human right. Here is what I am doing to ensure this is upheld:

  • Mass shootings constitute a public health crisis. This bill creates an office to prevent gun violence.
  • Health-related support services should be widely available within schools. Together with other Council Members, I am calling upon the Department of Education to have a full time mental health counselor on staff at every elementary and middle school.
  • Slowly, we have made progress to combat the opioid epidemic. The comprehensive approach has involved monitoring prescriptions, educating on naloxone, and focusing on vulnerable populations. To support this, the City is proposing a bill to require the department of education to stock opioid antagonists in all school buildings.  
  • In order to help promote mental health in schools, I am sponsoring legislation to establish a bullying prevention task force.
  • The Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act has been enacted. It can be found here.
  • I am cosponsoring a resolution that calls on the Department of Education to ban processed meats from being served in NYC public schools.
  • In NYC, we face high rates of maternal mortality. To help address this issue, I am supporting legislation to increase access to doulas.
  • City Council is working tirelessly to protect New Yorkers from lead-paint deterioration. This includes investigations by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, redefining thresholds for lead exposure, and education and outreach about lead poisoning prevention.
  • This bill prohibits discrimination in employment, and discriminatory harassment or violence, based on an individual’s sexual and reproductive health decisions.
  • I support the establishment of the New York Health Program, a universal single payer health plan for all NY residents.
  • Excessive sugar consumption has contributed to high rates of chronic conditions within our communities, specifically Type 2 diabetes and obesity. New York City restaurants need to be involved in combating this issue; for instance, by limiting the selection of sugary drinks available with children’s meals. In addition, a related bill calls for chain restaurants in NYC to post warning notices for menu-items that contain over 12 grams of added sugar.
  • Enacted on April 28, 2019, my bill permits an individual to request that the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene redact the name of a physician from a birth record, when that physician’s license has been surrendered or revoked. 
  • Despite significant success in smoking cessation over the past several decades, nicotine abuse remains the number one cause of preventable deaths in NYC. I am proposing restrictions on the sale of flavored electronic cigarettes, which have been largely marketed to our youth.
  • This bill would establish a Department of Animal Welfare.

Health Resources


Ryan Health Adair - Community Health Center

565 Manhattan Avenue New York, NY 10027

Telephone: 212-749-1820

Ryan Health Adair provides community-based primary care to adults and children living in Central Harlem and northern Manhattan. 


NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene 

Sexual Health Clinics

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene provides low to no-cost services for STIs (including HIV) for anyone who is 12 years of age or older. This service is available regardless of immigration and insurance status.



The Body offers a comprehensive database of HIV/AIDS resources throughout NYC.


New York State of Health

Telephone: 1-855-355-5777

New York State of Health is the state operated site for finding affordable health care for all.


MetroHealth Plus

Telephone: 1-800 475 6387

MetroHealth Plus provides no or low cost health care to residents of New York City.


Health Insurance Program Guide

The New York State Department of Health has put together a guide for useful information about state sponsored health programs.


The Institute for Family Health

For those without insurance, The Institute for Family Health offers free clinics at multiple New York locations.

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