The URMC Center for Community Health has a new home. The Center, several community health programs, and about 30 employees have moved into a new home in the Rochester city core. The Center takes up residence in the Eastman Building on 46 Prince Street. The building was home to the University of Rochester’s science programs until the 1950s, when the campus was relocated to the banks of the Genesee River.
The move brings the Center and its programs closer to the population it serves. It also creates an intersection of sorts in the city between the University and regional social services — the Red Cross and United Way are located next door.
You can read a URMC press release about the move here.
The Greater Rochester Health Foundation has announced a new TV advertising campaign that targets the parents of overweight children. The ads are part of a $50 million campaign against childhood obesity that the Foundation announced last year.
You can see the ads and read about the campaign at the Foundation’s “Be a Healthy Hero” website and read a D&C article about the yesterday’s announcement here - full text of the article after the jump.
There is a guest essay in today’s Democrat & Chronicle by Peter Carpino (United Way or Greater Rochester) and Brian Hetherington (Empire Justice Center) that calls upon Gov. Paterson to sign into law legislation that would, among other things, provide tax credits for homeowners for lead abatement.
Gov. Paterson: Sign lead bill; save kids from brain damage
Peter C. Carpino and Bryan Hetherington
Gov. David Paterson deserves much credit for responding quickly and forcefully to the financial crisis. However, there are other critical issues that he must address using that same firm leadership.
In the next few days, Paterson must decide whether to sign into law the Childhood Lead Poisoning Primary Prevention and Safe Housing Act of 2008. The act would identify the top 30 high-risk areas in the state, require prevention plans for those communities, increase the amount of information available to the public and offer tax credits for homeowners for lead hazard reduction.
It has taken years to get this legislation passed in both houses. The research is clear that signing the bill would mean many more New York children would succeed in school and many fewer would end up in jail. Costs for health care, criminal justice and special education would decrease an estimated $25 million a year, and tax revenues would rise.
Last month, the Minority Reporter, a weekly publication that serves the African American population in Rochester, came out with an issue that was dedicated to health care. It highlights some of the health challenges facing the city’s residents (particularly the disparities in many health indicators) and profiles some of the programs that are addressing these issues. You can see a PDF of the issue here.
The government response to the obesity crisis has taken many forms over the last several years, including banning trans-fats, removing soda and candy from schools, and requiring calories to be posted on menus. However, last month Los Angeles took perhaps the most aggressive step by banning the construction of fast food restaurants in some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. Public control over the built environment in the name of health has many advocates, including Tulane University’s Tom Farley who visited the Medical Center to discuss this very topic, which he has termed “healthscaping,” last year. The restriction, which is coupled with incentives for new grocery stores and (healthier) restaurants to move into the neighborhoods, has ignited a debate over the line between public health and personal choice.
You can read a NY Times story about the debate over the ban here.
News today on the tobacco front. The U.S. House of Representatives has approved legislation that allows the FDA to regulate the tobacco industry. The bill would give the FDA the power to prohibit the marketing of cigarettes to children, disclose/reduce/ban tobacco ingredients, require additional health warnings, and ban flavored cigarettes (however, in a concession to the tobacco industry, the bill exempts menthol cigarettes).
The bill passed with enough votes to override a threatened veto from the president and it now goes to the Senate where its prospects for a veto-proof majority are less clear.
Also, Scotland’s ban on indoor smoking is being credited with a 17% drop in heart attacks, NEJM reports. USA Today has an article on the study here.
Foodlink is attempting to raise awareness — and participation — in its summer meals program. The program currently provides free healthy breakfasts and lunches to 8,000 local children at some 30 sites across the city, but an estimated 25,000 children are eligible for the meals, which are subsidized by the US Department of Agriculture.
You can read a D&C story about a joint new conference held by Foodlink and the Rochester Rhinos here (full text after the jump). And you can find out more information about the program on the Foodlink website here.