State Health Commissioner Highlights Local Public Health Initiatives During National Public Health Week

Albany, N.Y. (April 3, 2014) — During National Public Health Week, April 7-13, State Health Commissioner, Nirav R. Shah M.D., M.P.H. will showcase what is being done across the state to protect and improve community health and quality of life for all New Yorkers.

"The strong public health partnerships throughout New York help prevent outbreaks of disease, quickly respond to potential health threats, and protect the health and safety of our communities," said Commissioner Shah. "I look forward to recognizing local public health programs committed to creating healthy communities and working with all New Yorkers to make good health a top priority."

The commissioner will highlight the state's Prevention Agenda 2013-2017, a five-year plan that serves as a blueprint for state and local organizations to improve the health of New Yorkers and reduce health disparities in five key areas: preventing chronic diseases; promoting a healthy and safe environment; promoting healthy women, infants, and children; promoting mental health and preventing substance abuse; and preventing HIV, sexually transmitted diseases, vaccine-preventable diseases, and healthcare-associated infections. The Prevention Agenda is the result of a unique collaboration of more than 140 organizations including hospitals, local health departments, health providers, health plans, employers, schools and others which identified key priorities in the statewide plan of action.

In collaboration with the Office of Information Technology Services (ITS), The Department of Health (DOH) recently launched the first public "dashboard" presentation, allowing the public to see the major goals of the Prevention Agenda and how each county and the entire state measure up. The dashboard shows the data and interprets changes in data so the user can determine what improvements have been made in reaching the Prevention Agenda 2017 goal. The public dashboard can be viewed here:

"We envision this dashboard as a key source to monitor progress toward Prevention Agenda objectives," said Commissioner Shah. "Having the data available in this interactive form will allow New Yorkers to navigate their county's performance in their efforts to protect and improve the health of their community."

DOH has also developed the State Health Care Innovation Plan (SHIP), an initiative intended to transform the state's health care delivery system to promote access to care for all New Yorkers. The SHIP is viewed as the overarching architecture for health reform in New York State over the coming years, including population health through the Prevention Agenda. Key components of the SHIP include advanced primary care integrated with population health and the Prevention Agenda, and the integration of behavioral health and care transitions. The State Health Innovation Plan can be viewed here:

During Public Health Week, counties across New York are focusing on their specific public health priorities. Representatives from DOH will be taking part in the following events:

Friday, April 4:

New York State Associate Commissioner of Health, and Western Regional Director, Gregory Young, M.D., will join representatives from the P2 Collaborative of Western New York to host the Western New York County Health Rankings Spotlight Luncheon, one of several such events happening throughout the country. The event marks the fifth anniversary release of the County Health Rankings, a collaborative project of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. It will showcase local efforts in Western New York to build a healthier community as inspired by the County Health Rankings and the New York State Prevention Agenda. The event will be held at the Buffalo Marriott Niagara, 1340 Millersport Hwy, Amherst, NY from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Tuesday, April 8:

Commissioner Shah will join officials from Dutchess County to highlight the county's work on the New York State Prevention Agenda and their newly launched Community Health Improvement Plan. The Dutchess County Department of Health and local hospitals are working with partners from the health, business, education, and non-profit fields to improve health and wellness across the county. Together with these partners, Commissioner Shah will sign the Dutchess County Declaration of Wellness, a commitment by community partners to implement wellness programs in their workplace. The event will be held at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, Henry A. Wallace Visitor and Education Center, Hyde Park, NY from 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Wednesday, April 9:

Commissioner Shah will join the New York State Health Foundation as they announce 17 organizations selected for grant awards to help 28 county health departments with their work in advancing the goals of the New York State Prevention Agenda. The event will take place at the Schenectady County Office Building Legislative Chambers, 6th Floor, 600 State Street, Schenectady, NY from 11:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

For additional information on statewide events taking place during National Public Health Week, visit:

The Prevention Agenda can be viewed here: