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THE DETAILS TO DELIVER: Stringer unveils sweeping health equity plan to end health disparities laid bare by COVID, eradicate health care deserts, bring unprecedented coordination to public health and hospitals

Stringer outlines comprehensive 22-point agenda to make New York City the public health capital of the world by stomping out COVID-19, shoring up emergency systems, reorganizing health and hospital leadership, eliminating health care deserts, and confronting our underlying mental health and substance use crises

New Chief Health Officer position would lead the City’s public health efforts, oversee both the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) and Health + Hospitals (H+H), and spearhead a multi-agency effort to tackle the largest health challenges facing New Yorkers

“Making New York healthier is a big, complex challenge that requires a mayor with a progressive vision, the management skills to break through the bureaucracy, and the proven record of prioritizing equity so every New Yorker benefits — and I will be that mayor, ready on Day One to move us forward.”

— Scott Stringer

New York, NY – With New York City at a critical juncture in the fight against COVID-19, Comptroller and mayoral candidate Scott Stringer today released a sweeping 22-point vision to bring New York City forward from the pandemic as the public health capital of the world and epicenter of healthcare innovation.

Stringer’s healthcare agenda would end health disparities laid bare by the pandemic — eliminating health care deserts and expanding access to primary care, while addressing the underlying social determinants of health. As Mayor, Stringer would stomp out the lasting impacts of COVID-19 and prepare New York City’s emergency response system for the next crisis. His comprehensive approach will reimagine the city’s healthcare leadership, primary care infrastructure, and approach to physical and mental health to better support the physical and mental health of all New Yorkers. 

Stringer proposed a series of measures which include:

Comptroller Scott Stringer said: “COVID-19 laid bare the deep disparities that run through our city, and our number one priority must be ending this pandemic by putting the lessons we’ve learned into action right away. We cannot afford to repeat the same mistakes that left so many New Yorkers underserved and overexposed. My plan will tackle the inequities in our healthcare system and the social determinants of health to make sure that we never land in the same position again. My administration will reimagine our public health leadership and ensure a full recovery that also addresses our crises of mental health and substance use. The last year has made painfully clear just how unprepared the City is for a health emergency — and for the pain this inflicted on New Yorkers, especially in our poorest communities and communities of color. Making New York healthier is a big, complex challenge that requires a mayor with a progressive vision, the management skills to break through the bureaucracy, and the proven record of prioritizing equity so every New Yorker benefits — and I will be that mayor, ready on Day One to move us in the right direction.”

Stringer’s plan, “Healing NYC,” is the next part of his mayoral agenda entitled “The Details to Deliver” — highlighting the need for specific, actionable plans to set New York City on a fundamentally new trajectory from the past decade and take the city forward from the COVID-19 pandemic, stronger and fairer than ever before.

Senate Health Committee Chair Gustavo Rivera said: “COVID-19 has taken a toll on every New Yorker, but it has devastated our most vulnerable communities. Scott Stringer understands that at his core. He has a plan to end this pandemic and bring true equity to our healthcare system. When Scott talks about losing his mother and hearing the doctor describe the suffering throughout communities of color in the Bronx and across the five boroughs, I hear someone who knows — not just in his head but also in his heart — how New Yorkers have struggled this year. I have full confidence that through his comprehensive plan to eliminate healthcare deserts, centering equity and mental health in our recovery, and his commitment to fighting for the implementation of the New York Health Act in our state, Scott Stringer is the person to lead our city out of this crisis and into a better future.”

Sen. Alessandra Biaggi said: “Every form of inequity in our city has been magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic. The disparities that exist throughout our healthcare system are the reason that this virus devastated the Bronx and our vulnerable communities. But this pandemic isn’t over, and New York City needs a mayor with a plan to not only end the pandemic but also make fundamental change to fix our broken system. We can’t just recover from COVID — we need to learn our lesson and make the investments to make our healthcare system and our city more equitable. With his plan to eliminate healthcare deserts and take control of our healthcare bureaucracy, it is clear that Scott Stringer is the right leader for New York City’s next chapter.”

Sen. Julia Salazar said: “This pandemic has exacerbated crises in so many areas of our lives, and we need a mayor who will make sure that post-COVID New York City is more equitable. As this plan shows, Scott Stringer is up to the task. The number one priority has to be getting our communities through this pandemic, and Scott has the skills and experience to make that happen. We also need a mayor who can look forward and make big plans to make sure that communities of color and low-income communities are never hit again the way they have been this year, and Scott’s plan is the strongest one I’ve seen from any candidate. We must eliminate healthcare deserts and put the City’s healthcare bureaucracy to work for all New Yorkers. Scott Stringer is the leader to do that.”

Assembly Health Committee Chair Dick Gottfried said: “Scott Stringer is the progressive leader the city needs, and this plan shows exactly why. Scott has taken on the status quo through his entire career, and he is the candidate in this race with a bold vision for health equity and the ability to make it a reality. This work is urgent — the inequities exposed by the pandemic are not new, and we can’t wait another minute to get a leader like Scott Stringer into City Hall to make our city’s health system work for all of us.”

Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus said: “The next mayor’s first priority must be ending this public health crisis. But Brooklynites and New Yorkers have suffered through so much more in the last year than this virus, with months of shutdown and social isolation, strained relationships, and financial challenges. Scott Stringer understands that health is more than just a diagnosis, and he has a plan for a COVID recovery that will ensure New Yorkers get any kind of support they need while making the investments necessary for people in all corners of our city to have access to quality affordable health care. This is the kind of leadership we need for our city, and I’m proud to support Scott Stringer to be our next mayor.”

Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou said: “We are long overdue for a healthcare system that addresses the systemic racism and institutionalized inequalities that low-income and marginalized communities face in New York. Scott’s comprehensive plan to fully fund and expand our healthcare system prioritizes our frontline workers, transitions community health and safety away from the NYPD, and expands mental and sexual health resources in ways that we cannot afford to wait for. High-quality, affordable healthcare is a human right. In the wake of COVID-19, it is paramount that we start making bold changes right now to ensure that all New Yorkers will experience a just and equitable recovery.”

City Council Health Committee Chair Mark Levine said: “Scott Stringer continues doing what he’s always done: listen to experts and community leaders, make government work more effectively for people, and fight for a fairer New York City. His bold, comprehensive plan shows his clear understanding of the pain working-class communities, communities of color, and immigrant communities experienced over the past year and even pre-pandemic. Eliminating healthcare deserts, prioritizing mental health support, and cutting through the bureaucracy is essential to make our city’s health system work for all New Yorkers; Scott is the leader to do just that.”

As mayor, Stringer would create a Chief Health Officer (CHO) position to lead the City’s public health efforts and oversee both the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) and New York City Health + Hospitals (H+H) — breaking down bureaucratic silos that hampered the City’s pandemic response and spearheading a true multi-agency strategy for tackling the city’s pressing public health challenges. The pandemic has underscored the need for more coordinated and effective leadership to manage the City’s health efforts from mental health to lead poisoning, and the CHO would convene all relevant agencies to collaboratively execute Stringer’s vision for a healthier and more equitable New York City. The agencies would remain independent. 

The release of Stringer’s comprehensive healthcare plan follows his proposal unveiled Sunday, April 11, to make historic investments in reproductive health and justice by doubling City funding for abortion care. Stringer’s proposals unveiled today include:

Stamp Out COVID-19 and Better Prepare for the Next Emergency by Making New York City a Leader in Public Health Innovation

Coordinate our Healthcare Leadership and Take a Multi-Agency Approach to Tackling Persistent Health Care Challenges

Address Health Disparities by Providing High-Quality Affordable Care to All New Yorkers

Truly Prioritize the City’s Mental Health and Substance Use Crises

To read the full Stringer healthcare plan, click here.

Scott Stringer was born and raised in Washington Heights. He attended P.S. 152 on Nagle Avenue and I.S. 52 on Academy Street. He graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in Marble Hill and John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan, a CUNY school.

Stringer was elected City Comptroller in 2013. Prior to serving as Comptroller, he was Manhattan Borough President from 2006 to 2013 and represented the Upper West Side in the New York State Assembly from 1992 to 2005. He and his wife, Elyse Buxbaum, live in Manhattan with their two children, Max and Miles.