Monday, January 28, 2019

NYC Hospitals Host Meatless Mondays


HEALTH– NYC Health + Hospitals has launched Meatless Mondays at all 11 of its acute care hospitals, in an effort to provide a broader range of healthy, appealing meal options and introduce the benefits of plant-based nutrition to inpatients to help them make important lifestyle decisions to lead their healthiest lives. The new plant-based items will be added to the regular menu to expand options for patients.


Promoted with the slogan “Power Up with Plants,” Meatless Monday meals will offer tasty options such as black bean soup, spaghetti and garden bolognese sauce, three bean chili, vegan beefless strips, garden burger, rice and beans, cream of potato soup, assorted fruits, and hummus. New Meatless Monday meal choices will be introduced over time to keep the program fresh.

“We want to empower our patients to live their healthiest lives by introducing them to healthier foods that they may choose once they’re discharged,” said Mitchell Katz, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of NYC Health + Hospitals. “The Meatless Mondays initiative is consistent with this mission and fits with our new Plant-Based Lifestyle Medicine Program at NYC Health + Hospitals Bellevue, developed to provide intensive support for outpatients who wish to adopt healthy lifestyle changes.”

Brooklyn Borough President, Eric L. Adams, an ardent advocate for plant-based diets as a lifestyle approach to positive health outcomes, called on all hospitals to sign on to the Meatless Monday pledge, an international campaign focused on improving the health of both individuals and the planet.

“NYC Health + Hospitals, the largest municipal hospital and health care system in the country, is leading the charge to create a healthier and more sustainable future by adopting Meatless Mondays,” said Borough President Adams. “I commend Dr. Katz for his leadership on this issue. By implementing the Plant-Based Lifestyle Medicine Program at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, and now Meatless Mondays at all 11 of our public hospitals, he is making quite the legacy, and I am sure this is only the beginning. Our shared goal is to create a healthier Big Apple, one where our government institutions support healthful dietary choices. Hospitals have a unique opportunity to influence patients and families in rethinking the nutritional quality of their meals, and Meatless Mondays now has a role in that conversation.”
“Plant-based diets are the way of the future,” said State Senator Luis SepĂșlveda.
“Leaving animal products off the plate is among the best choices a person can make for their health. The science is clear that a balanced plant-based diet helps protect against a host of illnesses, including cancer, type-2 diabetes, and heart disease. I applaud NYC Health + Hospitals for empowering patients to achieve happier and healthier lives through plant-based eating.”

“As someone who abstains from eating meat, this is very exciting news,” said New York City Councilman Justin Brannan. “I wholeheartedly support NYC Health + Hospitals expanding their plant-based menu options and leading by example. Reducing meat consumption is not only good for your health but for the future of our world. Indeed, we are not talking seriously about global warming and climate change unless we are talking about the effects of animal agriculture and meat production on our planet. If the largest public health care system in the nation can do it, you can do it, too!”

“I totally support NYC Health + Hospitals’ Meatless Mondays program,” said New York Council Member Fernando Cabrera. “Powering up with plants is good for everyone, and offering good-tasting healthy food choices is a great way to introduce patients to lifestyle changes that have long-term benefits. As someone whose life was literally saved by adopting a plant-based diet, I have firsthand knowledge of the health benefits of this lifestyle change. This initiative, along with City Council Resolution 238, which I introduced with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams banning processed meats from public school meals, puts us on the right path for a healthier New York.”

“A plant-based diet not only provides enormous health benefits, it’s also good for animal welfare and the environment—using fewer resources and creating less pollution than diets centered around animal products,” said New York City Council Member Helen Rosenthal. “This is why I’ve introduced a resolution in the City Council encouraging New Yorkers to enjoy Meatless Mondays. NYC Health + Hospitals’ launch of Meatless Mondays at all 11 of its acute care hospitals will help scores of New Yorkers live longer and better lives by improving their overall health, and helping to prevent and treat a wide range of diseases. I am thrilled to support this wonderful step forward.”

Dr. Mitchell Katz and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams taste the Spaghetti with Garden Bolognese Sauce, one of the new Meatless Monday options.

About the program

Led by the Food and Nutrition Department at NYC Health + Hospitals, the Meatless Monday program features a chef’s choice of meatless entrĂ©es for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Tray cards and brochures introduce the program to patients. Supported by other staff, dietitians offer patient education and counseling, focused on both the inpatient stay and nutrition after discharge.

“In the South Brooklyn community in which we are privileged to serve, data shows high rates of serious chronic conditions such as heart disease, obesity and diabetes,” said William A. Brown, Chief Executive Officer of NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island. “The Meatless Monday initiative is one small but powerful step we can take to help our patients make healthier decisions and improve their outcomes. We are grateful for our dietary department and the leadership of Dr. Katz and Borough President Adams for implementing and supporting this common-sense program.”

“When staff came around to explain the Meatless Monday initiative to me, I thought it was a great idea and something I never thought of doing before,” said 54-year-old Stephen Carroll, a patient at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island. “I really liked the three-bean chili, and it gave me some new ideas for what to eat when I get home.”

“For many patients, making changes to their diets and breaking long-standing habits can seem overwhelming; however, Meatless Monday offers the ability for our patients to adopt small changes that can make a big difference over time in reversing or preventing certain chronic conditions,” said Whitney Ahneman, MS, RDN, CDN, CDE, Clinical Nutrition Manager at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island. “We are happy to provide the opportunity for patients in the hospital to try foods that not only taste great, but also can fit seamlessly into a healthy lifestyle moving forward.”

In the first Meatless Mondays offering, on January 7, 1,500 patients at the 11 hospitals opted for one of the Meatless Monday selections. Meatless choices were offered for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The number of participating patients is expected to grow.

“Our Food and Nutrition Department is proud to champion Meatless Mondays,” said Michelle McMacken, MD, Director of the Plant-Based Lifestyle Medicine Program at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue. “The science on plant-based nutrition is extremely compelling. Whether for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, inflammation, autoimmune disease, brain health, gut health, chronic kidney disease, cancer prevention, or general health, a healthful, plant-based diet can have impressive benefits.”

“Meatless Mondays are the perfect complement to the Farmer’s markets that we have been operating at the doorsteps of six of the health system’s hospitals, since 2010, starting with NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi. It is also consistent with the goals of our Eating for Good Health cooking demonstrations,” said Maritza Owens, CEO from Harvest Home Farmer’s Market. “Like our programs, Meatless Mondays highlights the value of plant-based nutrition and will encourage families to incorporate more fruits and vegetables in their diet.”

“We’re thrilled that NYC Health + Hospitals is joining the Meatless Monday movement!” said Sid Lerner Founder of the Meatless Monday Campaign. “It’s a great way to encourage patients to make small changes in their diet that can add years to their lives.”

“I applaud NYC Health + Hospitals for launching Meatless Mondays,” said Dexter Shurney, MD, MPH, FACLM, President of American College of Lifestyle Medicine. “This is truly a ground-breaking initiative that is sure to make a positive difference in the health of the community. It’s a fact that plant-based nutrition is the foundation for better health care outcomes and ultimately to achieving better health.”

“While all pillars of Lifestyle Medicine are essential to optimal health, evidence shows that food trumps all,” said Susan Benigas, Executive Director of American College of Lifestyle Medicine. “Every bite we take is either one step toward health or one step in the opposite direction. The power of our food choices cannot be underestimated. A plant-predominant dietary lifestyle is most efficacious for the treatment and, often, even reversal of chronic disease.”

“Hospitalization provides a teachable moment, when patients are ready to improve their health by changing their diets, quitting smoking, and taking other steps,” said Neal D. Barnard, MD, FACC President, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

“Meatless Mondays are a great way to support that process.”

Meatless Mondays is one of many initiatives introduced recently as part of the Plant-Based Nutrition Program at NYC Health + Hospitals. The next initiative is Enhancement of Vegan and Vegetarian Menu, which focuses on introducing additional healthy menu offerings for patients throughout the week.


Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Don’t Blindly Accept Vision Loss: Your Guide to Glaucoma



By Kelliann Schilling, Registered Nurse with the Visiting Nurse Service of New York 

HEALTH- Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States if left untreated. 


According to Glaucoma Research Foundation, about 3 million Americans have the disease, but only half know they have it. 

One of the most common forms of glaucoma is known as the “sneak thief of sight” because only after the disease has advanced quite a bit do symptoms such as vision loss become apparent. Knowing that there are very few “warning signs” can cause individuals and their families to have feelings of worry, fear, and helplessness about how to handle the disease. Yet it’s important to remember that you are not alone and help and resources are available when the need arises. 

As a registered nurse with the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY) my patient roster includes many patients over the age of 65, which is often when people begin to notice changes in their vision and start asking questions about how to prevent glaucoma. 

Unfortunately, glaucoma is not preventable and vision loss from the disease is not reversible. Early detection however, does provide ways to protect your eyesight and prevent complete vision loss. Here are a few tips our VNSNY teams share with our patients to help catch glaucoma early:

  • Knowledge is Power: It is extremely important to understand the facts about the disease and ask your doctor the right questions. For example, make sure your ophthalmologist looks at the eye nerve and not just the more common diagnoses of high eye pressure. Also, know your risk factors for the disease. Among people who are at an increased risk for glaucoma are African Americans, Latinos and those with diabetes or cardiovascular disease. 
  • Get Screened: It is important to complete regularly scheduled eye exams every six to 12 months for those patients over the age of 65. Additionally, make sure to get any kind of eye irritation checked out immediately. 
  • Symptoms: While glaucoma symptoms develop slowly, and sometimes not at all, some symptoms to look out for can include: 
  • Blurred or hazy vision
  • Eye pain, swelling or redness
  • Trouble reading
  • Peripheral Vision Loss
  • Sudden sight loss
  • Loss of contrast sensitivity (the ability to see shades of the same color)
  • Problems with glare
  • Light sensitivity

Once diagnosed, it is extremely important to make some lifestyle changes to help you stay safe at home and on track with your treatment. 

  • Make a Schedule: Write down the name, dosage, and number of times your medications should be taken each day. It’s also important to space out treatments. Develop a regimen to make your medications part of your daily routine, administering them in the morning, at night, or during meals. 
  • Learn Eye-Drop Installation: It is extremely important to put eye drops in correctly, as they are usually the main form of treatment for glaucoma. It can be extremely difficult to apply drops properly, especially if living alone. Due to these challenges, it can be helpful to have the assistance of home health aides, such as those at Partners in Care, a licensed home care agency that is a part of VNSNY. A home health aide or family caregiver can help ensure that correct drops dosages are administered, and that both the eye lids and lashes are kept clean. It is also beneficial to keep your eyes closed for two minutes after receiving the drops, to ensure effectiveness of the medication. 
  • Living with Impairment: While life with glaucoma may be an adjustment, there are a variety of tools and resources that can help you cope and maintain a comfortable level of vision. I usually recommend patients get magnifiers or computer text enlargers to reduce stress caused from frequent squinting and straining to read. Additionally, if you happen to have one, iPads and other large-screen tablets have been known to enhance visual clarity as they allow for a high contrast, crisp display. 
  • Healthy Lifestyle Modifications: Anyone with glaucoma should do their best to maintain a healthy weight and keep blood pressure at normal levels. Caffeine can increase eye pressure, so it is important to be mindful and modify intake if needed. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables with vitamins C, E, A, D and Zinc supports ocular health, and always remember to wear sunglasses outdoors to protect the eyes.

While there is no cure yet for glaucoma and vision loss cannot be regained, there are treatment options that can help preserve visual function. 

It is important to remember to always communicate with your entire care team if something seems amiss with your vision. We recommend that all our patients over the age of 65 make regularly scheduled visits to the ophthalmologist a regular part of their routine healthcare maintenance. 

To learn more about how home care can help support older individuals living with glaucoma, please visit www.VNSNY.org or call 1-800-675-0391.


Thursday, January 10, 2019

Help to Quit Smoking in 2019


Start the New Year Smoke Free

HEALTH– As the New Year dawns, a common resolution tops many tobacco-users’ to-do lists: making 2019 the year they finally quit for good.


Smoking is an addiction and difficult to overcome, but thousands achieve a smoke-free life each year with support and medication from their healthcare providers and the New York State Smokers’ Quitline.

One Five Boroughs resident knows this very well, as Shirley G. gained freedom from nicotine in early November.

Shirley, a 58-year old Bronx resident and executive assistant in Midtown, smoked periodically since her early teenage years. Twenty years ago, she quit “cold turkey” and maintained a smoke-free life for 10 years. However, after the passing of her parents, Shirley picked up a cigarette and got hooked again.

During a family trip to Greece this past fall, Shirley said smoking was allowed “practically everywhere” and she “smoked a ton.” 

Upon coming home, she realized she finally had enough of smoking and did an online search for support. It was then that Shirley learned about free nicotine replacement therapy and coaching support from the New York State Smokers’ Quitline.

“The Quitline was instrumental in my success,” Shirley said. “Besides the nicotine patch helping to curb my cravings, the materials I received helped me to stay on track and remind me how I’d feel better and better with each passing week. I also learned about the HelpMeQuit app from the New York City Department of Health, which tracked how many days I remained smoke-free and how much money I saved. Most important, I got a follow- up call from one of the Quitline’s Quit Coaches a few weeks after I started using the patch. That was an unexpected bonus. Someone out there cared if I was still doing well. I think positive reinforcement is such a boost for anyone during the quit-process.”

Earlier in 2018, Shirley began a weight-loss program and achieved success. In her opinion, quitting smoking is a natural second step for taking better care of her health. During this time of year, Shirley also particularly loves not having to go outside in the rain or snow for a cigarette break. Last but not least, Shirley has five young grandsons and is happy they won’t grow to know her as a smoker.

“For me, just touching a cigarette is a trigger,” she said. “So I tell myself, ‘If I don’t touch a cigarette, I can’t smoke it.’ I also remind myself there is nothing happening in my life where a cigarette will make things better. Having a cigarette won’t improve the situation. For those who struggle with quitting, a doctor once told me to at least start with one less cigarette a day and take it gradually from there. Remember that there are great resources through the Smokers’ Quitline – and they’re free.”

The New York State Smokers’ Quitline is available as a resource for all New Yorkers seeking help to quit smoking. Quit Coaches can provide personalized coaching support and check eligibility for a starter kit of nicotine replacement therapy. In addition, the New York State Smokers’ Quitline recommends smokers talk to their healthcare providers about quitting and ask for a prescription for stop-smoking medications – most of which are covered by health insurance plans.

“Smoking continues to be the leading cause of preventable death in the world, but many free resources are available in New York State to help smokers quit,” said David Davis, project manager for NYC Treats Tobacco, a program funded by the New York State Department of Health Bureau of Tobacco Control based at NYU Langone Health. “By combining coaching and medication, the odds for quitting successfully increase threefold. Healthcare providers play a major role in getting the process started, between prescribing the right medications and making referrals to the New York State Smokers’ Quitline for extra support. Health plans, especially Medicaid, often cover extra nicotine replacement therapy and local cessation classes. Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for your health, so use all the benefits available to make it happen.”
This New Year and any year, smokers should call the New York State Smokers’ Quitline at 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) anytime the journey gets tough for achieving or
maintaining a smoke-free life. Quit Coaches are available seven days a week beginning at 9 a.m., and additional resources are available online at www.nysmokefree.com.

About the New York State Smokers’ Quitline

The New York State Smokers’ Quitline is a service of the New York State Department of Health and based at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. It is one of the first and busiest state quitlines in the nation, and has responded to more than 2.5 million calls since its inception in 1999. The Quitline encourages tobacco users to talk with their healthcare providers and access available Medicaid or health insurance benefits for stop-smoking medications. All New York State residents can call 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) for coaching and resources, free of charge, seven days a week beginning at 9 a.m.

Visit www.nysmokefree.com for more information.


New York to Provide Healthcare for All



DeBlasio Launches Plan to Cover All New Yorkers 

Roll Out to Start in the Bronx


NEW YORK— Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his administration will launch the largest, most comprehensive plan in the nation to guarantee health care for every New Yorker. 


The plan will serve the 600,000 New Yorkers without insurance by strengthening NYC’s public health insurance option, MetroPlus, and guaranteeing anyone ineligible for insurance – including undocumented New Yorkers – has direct access to NYC Health + Hospitals’ physicians, pharmacies and mental health and substance abuse services through a new program called NYC Care. 

All services will be affordable on a sliding scale. The programs will include customer-friendly call lines to help New Yorkers – regardless of their insurance – make appointments with general practitioners, cardiologists, pediatricians, gynecologists and a full spectrum of health care services.

“Health care is a right, not a privilege reserved for those who can afford it,” said Mayor de Blasio. “While the federal government works to gut health care for millions of Americans, New York City is leading the way by guaranteeing that every New Yorker has access to quality, comprehensive access to care, regardless of immigration status or their ability to pay.”


“With today’s announcement of NYC Care, New York City takes another leap ahead of the rest of the nation in providing mental health services,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. “Guaranteed health care means guaranteed MENTAL health care and alcohol/drug addiction treatment. No other city or state provides these comprehensive services to ALL residents.”

“We have the tools and opportunity to guarantee health care for all New Yorkers,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Herminia Palacio. “New Yorkers who can’t enroll in or afford health insurance will now be able to access comprehensive, patient-centered services through NYC Care. At the same time, we will amplify our efforts to increase enrollment into MetroPlus. Today we celebrate our City’s relentless commitment to accessible, high-quality health care.”

“Expanding access to care is a key step in eliminating health disparities in our city,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “The Affordable Care Act started us down this path, but it is time to finish the job. New York City is proud to lead the way.  I stand with Mayor de Blasio today in declaring health care is a right for all, not a privilege for only those who can afford care.”

“NYC Care will be the biggest and most comprehensive health coverage program in the country,” said Dr. Mitchell Katz, President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals. “Building on the great work of our doctors, nurses and staff, and working collaboratively with community partners, NYC Health + Hospitals will help give all New Yorkers the quality care they deserve.”

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, 8 million New Yorkers now have health insurance, and the uninsured rate is about nearly half of what it was in 2013. In the last two years, New York City’s Public Engagement Unit coordinated signing up more than 130,000 New Yorkers for plans through the exchanges created by the law. However, about 600,000 New Yorkers remain without insurance, because they do not or cannot enroll. Through this new initiative, New York City will create a bigger, better, more comprehensive program for guaranteed health care. The City aims to better connect people to more effective and affordable health care in one of two ways:

· NYC Care: The city will connect hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who are ineligible for health insurance – including undocumented New Yorkers and those who cannot afford insurance – to reliable care. 

Anyone will be able to access comprehensive care across NYC Health + Hospitals’ more than 70+ locations, once the program is fully ramped up. NYC Care is open to anyone who does not have an affordable insurance option and will be priced on a sliding scale, to ensure affordability. NYC Care will provide a primary care doctor and will provide access to specialty care, prescription drugs, mental health services, hospitalization, and more.
· NYC’s Public Option: The City will double down on efforts to boost enrollment in MetroPlus, the City’s public option. MetroPlus provides free or affordable health insurance that connects insurance-eligible New Yorkers to a network of providers that includes NYC Health + Hospitals’ 11 hospitals and 70 clinics. MetroPlus serves as an affordable, quality option for people on Medicaid, Medicare, and those purchasing insurance on the exchange. The City is committed to strengthening MetroPlus and connecting more independent workers, City vendors and City workers to that option. It also will improve the quality of the MetroPlus customer experience through improved access to clinical care, mental health services, and wellness rewards for healthy behavior.

The City is taking an unprecedented approach to health care services by tackling mental and physical issues holistically. 

Through both programs, New Yorkers will be able to access addiction services and opioid treatment, mental health counseling, and counseling services for trauma victims. New Yorkers will be able to call MetroPlus or 311 to be screened for health insurance eligibility and get connected to their best coverage option.

As part of this initiative, H+H will be significantly enhancing 24/7 customer service to seamlessly connect patients to healthcare. 

NYC Care will launch in summer 2019 and will roll out geographically, starting in the Bronx. It will be fully available to all New Yorkers across the five boroughs in 2021. The program will cost at least $100 million annually at full scale. Additionally, MetroPlus will announce a series of enhancements throughout the year.

“Health care is a human right. Every New Yorker, no matter their race, gender, sexual orientation, or socio-economic status should have accessible and reliable health care. I believe the Mayor’s plan is a powerful step in this fight for affordable and reliable health care. This is also why I continue to fight for single-payer healthcare as a New York State Senator,” said Senator Jessica Ramos.

“Providing healthcare to all NYC residents -- including addiction, rehabilitation and mental health services -- is a monumental step toward in the delivery of necessary medical treatment for all. I look forward to working with the administration to implement real affordable medical treatment for each and every NYC resident,” said Assembly Member Michael G. Dendekker.

It is so important to connect all New Yorkers with affordable and reliable health care, and I’m thrilled that the City has taken steps to provide this basic right to our 600,000 uninsured neighbors across NYC. Expanding enrollment in MetroPlus and providing affordable care through NYC Care regardless of insurance means that more New Yorkers will get the comprehensive services that they need,” said Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon.

“Health care should be a right, and while the ACA has helped, too many of us are still uninsured and struggle to get the care we need,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A Brewer. “With this far-reaching plan to guarantee care for everyone, the de Blasio administration is showing the rest of the country that New Yorkers look out for each other. I’m thrilled that 600,000 uninsured people in our city will have new peace of mind knowing they’ll be able to access comprehensive care through MetroPlus and NYC Health+Hospitals, including vital services for addiction and mental health.”

“As the representative of East Harlem and the South Bronx — both of which are neighborhoods with significant uninsured populations, I am ecstatic about the implementation of NYC Care, as it will provide thousands of New Yorkers with access to comprehensive health care services. I thank Mayor de Blasio, Deputy Mayor Palacio, and Dr. Katz for their efforts to make this plan possible,” said Council Member Diana Ayala, Chair of the City Council’s Committee on Mental Health, Disabilities, and Addiction.

"Let's say it loud and clear today - healthcare is a basic human right. No New Yorker should ever have to choose between paying for their health or putting food on the table. I want to thank Mayor de Blasio for working to ensure that everyone, including the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who are undocumented, has access to a healthcare option they can afford. This plan will not only strengthen the health of everyday New Yorkers, but also the health of our public hospital system. I look forward to working with the Mayor to implement this ground-breaking plan," said City Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, Chair of the Council's Committee on Hospitals.

“Today the city is taking a big step in ensuring access to health services for all New Yorkers regardless of immigration status. Immigrants in particular are faced with huge barriers to healthcare and we have yet to see significant action at the state and federal level to ensure access to coverage for all of the uninsured. We look forward to working with Mayor de Blasio to implement NYC Cares and ensure access to H+H options and insurance, if eligible," said Rebecca Telzak, Director of Health Programs at Make the Road New York.

“For too long, too many, particularly women low-wage workers, have not had access to health care. This is an inspiring and extremely practical model for every city in the nation," said Ai-jen Poo, Executive Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance.

"Affordable, high-quality healthcare for immigrant workers is essential to our city's thriving, and no one knows that better NICE members who work in some of the most dangerous, unregulated sectors of our economy, like construction and domestic work," said Manuel Castro, Executive Director of New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE). "Our members historically have struggled to access appropriate care that they can afford in the languages they speak, so we applaud the city for taking another step in providing necessary healthcare for all New Yorkers, particularly in a time when immigrants are under attack." 

“All people, regardless of their income or immigration status, deserve access to high-quality health care. Period. We applaud Mayor Bill de Blasio for launching NYC Care to ensure that all New Yorkers can access health care, including preventive care, gynecological care, mental health care and other services. As the White House continues to spew anti-immigrant rhetoric and attempt to block immigrants from accessing basic resources they need, NYC must do everything we can support our immigrant communities. NYC is a place for everyone—a place where all people can live and thrive without fear to be who we are—and the new NYC Care program affirms that,” said Laura McQuade, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of New York City.

“For one hundred years, the progressive movement has fought for an America where everyone has the medical care they need. I hope to live to see the establishment of Medicare For All, finally achieving that dream. In the meantime, I am so grateful to Mayor de Blasio for putting the full strength of his administration behind this important cause. I am eager to see it succeed, transforming the lives of so many New Yorkers and proving to the country that universal health care is possible,” said Ady Barkan, Center for Popular Democracy.

"This is exactly how New York should lead in the era of Trump. Mayor de Blasio's initiative recognizes that when the federal government fails to guarantee a basic right like health care, cities and states have the power to step up. This will make New York a stronger, healthier city, and elected officials around the country should take note," said Dahlia McManus, Deputy Director of the New York Working Families Party.

“We applaud Mayor de Blasio for taking this important step to address the health needs of hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants in our city who are under attack by the Trump Administration,” said David R. Jones, Esq., President and CEO of the Community Service Society. “And we encourage the State, which has been a leader in expanding health care coverage to needy populations in New York, to continue its trailblazing efforts to make our health insurance system more accessible. For just $532 million annually—a mere rounding error in the State’s health care budget—the State could build on its health care accomplishments and offer comprehensive health coverage to all immigrant New Yorkers left behind under the Affordable Care Act.” 

“No one should have to decide between putting a roof over their head or seeing a doctor, yet this is too often the reality. All New Yorkers deserve access to the health care they need and we applaud Mayor de Blasio and his administration for making this their top priority,” said Andrea Miller, President of the National Institute for Reproductive Health. “New York City has long been a leader in ensuring access to reproductive healthcare, beginning with abortion training for residents in H+H hospitals, access to contraception at comprehensive school based health centers, and today with the expansion of insurance coverage for all New Yorkers.”

“CCC applauds Mayor de Blasio for this bold plan to guarantee all New Yorkers have access to affordable health care,” said Jennifer March, Executive Director of Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York. “Children are more likely to be insured when their parents are insured, and expanding coverage options will lead to healthier families and healthier communities. In the face of constant federal threats to healthcare, New York can be a leader in protecting and expanding access to essential health and behavioral health services for all New Yorkers, including undocumented New Yorkers.”

“Mayor de Blasio’s announcement today that New York City will provide health care to every City resident affirms the belief, strongly held by New York’s entire hospital community, that health care is a fundamental human right,” said Greater New York Hospital Association president Kenneth E. Raske. “By enrolling as many City residents as possible in NYC H + H’s MetroPlus program and launching NYC Care for those who cannot access insurance programs, New York City is demonstrating its deep commitment to achieving universal coverage. I applaud the Mayor and NYC H + H for launching this extremely important initiative."

"Most of New York City’s professional drivers already rely on Health and Hospitals clinics and hospitals for primary care and emergency services.  This initiative can fill voids that still exist in access to care and will be a lifeline for New Yorkers who, like many of our members, don’t qualify for Medicaid but still can’t afford premiums. And it will finally allow our undocumented neighbors access to much-needed healthcare services. The initiative could transform NYC into a global city leading our country in common sense and compassion with universal healthcare coverage," said Bhairavi Desai, Executive Director of 21,000-membet New York Taxi Workers Alliance which represents yellow, green, App, livery and black car drivers.

“We applaud the Mayor's effort to expand access to critical services for all New Yorkers. Healthcare is a right and should be accessible to all regardless of income or immigration status,” said John Park Executive Director of the MinKwon Center for Community Action.

"We welcome this great initiative, NYC Care, and we look forward with working the City and Mayor de Blasio to ensure that all eligible New Yorkers are covered," said Elsie Saint-Louis, Executive Director of Haitian-Americans United for Progress.

“Our rights to health care have been infringed and under attack from the federal government.  It is important to ensure that all have opportunity to get covered.  We support the city and mayor in their efforts to create a program for the uninsured. The benefits of expanding coverage outweigh the costs for added services,” said Anthony Feliciano, Director of the Commission on the Public’s Health System. 

“New York Lawyers for the Public Interest applauds this ambitious effort to save lives. The City’s continuing commitment to care for New Yorkers who are ineligible or can’t afford insurance means NYC Health + Hospitals can better address the impact of the nation’s healthcare crisis on the people of New York City. As attacks on the Affordable Care Act and healthcare for New Yorkers who are immigrants drive people away from the basic care they need, New York City leads in providing vital help," said Laura F. Redman, Health Justice Director, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest.

“NYC Cares is a giant leap in the right direction toward guaranteeing the right to healthcare for all. We applaud New York City and Mayor de Blasio for this critical program. While providing access to coverage for the uninsured is a necessity for a high functioning health system, the Campaign for NY Health remains committed to working with all stakeholders to address the high costs and financial barriers for the millions of New Yorkers with private health insurance coverage who struggle to afford the care they need,” said Katie Robbins, Director, Campaign for NY Health.

"In a time when expanded access to health care is threatened under our current Federal Administration, The Center applauds the City and Mayor de Blasio for stepping up to ensure that all New Yorkers have the access they deserve to coverage through NYC Care," said Glennda Testone, Executive Director of NYC's LGBT Community Center. "LGBTQ New Yorkers, including undocumented community members, face serious health care disparities and this program will provide a lifeline for those who need it most."

“By guaranteeing health care access to many of New York City’s most vulnerable, underserved populations, Mayor Bill de Blasio is helping us reach our collective goal to end the AIDS epidemic in New York City and New York State,” said Kelsey Louie, CEO of Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC). “More access to health care means more access to not just HIV prevention, testing, and treatment, but more access to treating the drivers of the epidemic like mental health and substance use issues. This is a huge step forward in our fight to end AIDS.”

"At a time when access to health care is under attack, it is crucial to expand access to affordable, comprehensive coverage in New York and continue the gains made through the Affordable Care Act,"  said Melanie Kruvelis, Northeast Policy Analyst at Young Invincibles. "We commend City Hall’s effort to expand coverage to every remaining uninsured New Yorker, especially young adults and immigrants who often get left out of the system."
“We are most privileged to live in a City where all people matter and will be able to provide health care for all. Religious tradition teaches that we have a moral responsibility to preserve human health. Thank you Mayor for making it possible for us to fulfill a tradition that belongs to all of as believers of different faiths but also as members of one human family," said Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, Executive Vice President, New York Board of Rabbis.

“Is anything better than a healthy city?  From strong health comes strong people. Thank you mayor de Blasio.”Rev. Dr. Donna Schaper, Senior Minister, Judson Memorial Church.

“This announcement is a major breakthrough for all New Yorkers. As I think of all those who have been turned away because they dont have coverage, who have suffered, and who have even died because of lack of coverage, I am so elated to see us take an extraordinary leap to healthcare for all.  It is a big step in the right direction," said Rev. Que English, Bronx Christian Fellowship Church & Mayor's Clergy Advisory Council.



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