With an annual budget of $1.6 billion and more than 6,000 employees throughout the five boroughs, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is one of the largest public health agencies in the world. It is also one of the nation’s oldest public health agencies, with more than 200 years of leadership in the field.
Every day, the NYC DOHMH protects and promotes the health of 8 million New Yorkers. The work is broad-ranging, from inspection grades of dining establishments, to the licenses dogs wear, to the low- to no-cost neighborhood health clinics to birth certificates for our youngest New Yorkers.
The NYC DOHMH is also behind the scenes with its disease detectives, investigating suspicious clusters of illness. Their 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 the NYC DOHMH faces are many. They range from obesity, diabetes and heart disease to HIV/AIDS, tobacco addiction, substance use and the threat of bioterrorism. The health agency also works 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 the NYC DOHMH has made racial justice a priority.
Unsung Heroes of Public Health aims to reframe and widen the historical narrative of public health, by spotlighting individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to public health milestones in New York City. For a city of 8 million, public health requires a multitude of approaches working together – community activism, research & innovation, information sharing and mentorship. These are stories of perseverance and dedication to shaping a healthier future for those to come.Learn More