Press Release: SHAUN DONOVAN UNVEILS PLAN TO OVERCOME THE COVID CRISIS AND MAKE NEW YORK THE HEALTHIEST CITY IN THE WORLD

**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**
February 19, 2021
Contact: Yuridia Peña, [email protected], (718) 790-0837

SHAUN DONOVAN UNVEILS PLAN TO OVERCOME THE COVID CRISIS AND MAKE NEW YORK THE HEALTHIEST CITY IN THE WORLD

The platform focuses on ending the COVID crisis, making health care accessible and affordable for all New Yorkers, investing in health equity, and improving the overall health and wellbeing of our city.

The plan outlines a three-tiered New York City public option, integrates high-quality primary care facilities to the 15 Minute Neighborhoods model, and addresses environmental determinants critical to living a healthy and active life.

NEW YORK, NY — As part of his speech to the Association for a Better New York (ABNY) this morning, former Obama-Biden administration Housing Secretary and Budget Director Shaun Donovan continued his Campaign of Ideas with the rollout of his comprehensive Health Platform entitled ‘Recover, Refocus, Reimagine: Coming Back Strong and Making New York the Healthiest City in the World.’ The nearly 7,000-word platform lays out Shaun Donovan’s vision for swiftly and effectively overcoming the pandemic and making New York the healthiest city in the world by improving the standard, accessibility, and affordability of health care for — and the quality of life and environmental determinants of health of — all New Yorkers, regardless of race, ethnicity, income, or immigration status.

“The next mayor’s first priority must be overcoming the COVID crisis, making New Yorkers healthy, and getting our city working again. The mismanagement of our city’s response to this pandemic has led to so much unnecessary suffering, and we must make sure that, in addition to preventing any further harm to our residents, we take the steps to keep this from ever happening again,” said NYC Mayoral Candidate Shaun Donovan. “But beyond COVID, making New York the healthiest city in the world and using this goal to help drive our city’s broader recovery requires a recognition of the wide-ranging health challenges our city faces, as well as the many tools we have available to address them. It begins with accessibility — whether it’s a vaccine, primary care, health insurance, or a park to exercise in, as part of my 15 Minute Neighborhoods plan we need to give New Yorkers the resources within 15 minutes of their home to live a healthy life, and we must prioritize helping communities that have historically received the least support and have endured the greatest harm.”

The platform emphasizes addressing long standing crises in mental health, opioid use, chronic illness, and public safety.

Highlights of the platform include:

  • Having all COVID-19 emergency response and preparedness measures led by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) and immediately beginning to repurpose contact tracing funding for robust vaccine distribution, focusing on communities that need vaccines the most.
  • Including high-quality primary care, fresh food, and good parks within the 15 Minute Neighborhoods model, ensuring that each New Yorker has the necessary resources to live a healthy life within 15 minute of their front door.
  • Partnering with primary care providers to make the COVID-19 vaccine more accessible, plan for the next pandemic, and engage on emergency preparedness and activation.
  • Working closely with the federal and state government to expand coverage for New Yorkers through the Affordable Care Act and the Essential Plan, and addressing any gaps through a three-tiered New York City public option that prioritizes access to high-quality primary care.
  • Addressing the unacceptable rates of maternal mortality among women of color and expanding city reproductive health support.
  • Tackling mental illness by focusing on identifying and preventing mental illness in schools and communities, strengthening treatment through proper resourcing, and improving crisis intervention by establishing a dedicated mental health emergency hotline and replacing police in mental health crises with social workers, counselors, and emergency medical technicians.
  • Putting Naloxone, an overdose-reversal medication, in the hands of everyone who needs it, and establishing the city’s first Safe Use Community Centers — taking substance use off the streets and making treatment options more accessible.
  • Treating public safety and gun violence as health issues by implementing a citywide, cohesive public health approach to violence through community-led public safety and racial justice initiatives, and initiating research on the causes and prevention of gun violence through a public health lens.
  • Supporting delivery of care and the revitalization of our economy through the establishment of a robust public health workforce pipeline, the proper investment in training and new facilities, and the announcement to the rest of the world that New York City is healthy and ready to welcome visitors.

This plan follows a series of other ambitious, comprehensive policy proposals, achievable only through Donovan’s equity-driven approach that prioritizes gathering input from every relevant community, advocacy group, and business sector. Among these are his plans to create 500,000 jobs for New Yorkers by the end of his first term, open libraries 7 days per week in every neighborhood, make every neighborhood in the city a 15 Minute Neighborhood — where every resident has access to a great public school, fresh food, rapid transportation, a park, and a chance to get ahead within 15 minutes of their front door — and launch equity bonds, whereby every New York City child will receive $1,000, plus up to an additional $2,000 each subsequent year. Last week he released his Criminal Justice plan aimed at reducing the role of police while refocusing resources toward serious crime and gun violence, reimagining public safety through community-led initiatives, and reinvesting in communities that have historically faced disinvestment.

For more details on Donovan’s Health Platform, please visit shaunfornyc.com/issues/health/

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