April 29, 2014
Breaking Down Child Health Disparities in NYC
A child’s long-term health and well-being is shaped by the conditions in which he or she is born, grows, lives, works, and ages. These circumstances are greatly influenced by access to resources and supports that help families to meet the individual needs of their children.
CCC recently presented an overview of the “social determinants of health,” a term defined by the World Health Organization to reference the inherent, though not apparent, link of several indicators – including education, environmental conditions, nutrition, and cultural capital – to health outcomes.
The presentation highlights the ways in which New York City has made strides over the past decade in improving children’s health, as illustrated in our own Keeping Track, as well as the disparities that persist among racial and ethnic communities, as well as geographically. Among the data included:
Considering the historically high child poverty rates in New York City, with 30% of children living at the federal poverty level and in some communities nearly 60%, it is imperative that we use the information available to us to advance strategies that address the full spectrum of social determinants impacting health outcomes both directly and indirectly.
Our Recommendations to Make New York City a Better Place for Every Child identifies concrete tactics to ensure that all children and their families have access to quality health and mental health services in their communities, including expanding access to school-based health and mental health services, integrating mental health programming in early childhood settings, and ensuring that statewide Medicaid reforms allow for expansion of community-based services. Our recommendations also include initiatives aimed at promoting safe environments for physical education, increasing usage of school and summer meals programs, and access to healthy and affordable foods in high-need communities.
Know the Facts, Share the Facts and Be Part of the Solution