From the Desk of the Executive Director


Turning the Tide on Maternal Deaths Among Black Women—One Case at a Time

March 21, 2018

Sara Gardner, MPH Executive Director

In Public Health the focus is population-wide efforts to prevent sickness and premature death. We are often so focused on population-level statistics we forget that behind every single number there is a human being. We forget that it is a collection of individual stories that make up the whole. Sometimes in public health, to find a way forward, we have to look beyond the numbers and hear the individual stories to uncover the truth.

Read More

Taking Care of New York City: A Blueprint to Improve the Health of all New Yorkers

February 21, 2018

Sara Gardner, MPH Executive Director

Overall, New York City residents are living longer, healthier lives. Though the city’s health is improving, marked disparities in key health indicators persist. Thirteen years ago the NYC Health Department established a comprehensive blueprint to improve the health of all New Yorkers and has tracked progress over time.

Read More

Big Tobacco: A History of Death, Destruction and Deception

January 19, 2018

Sara Gardner, MPH Executive Director

In the summer of 1974, I landed my first real job working in the tobacco fields of Bristol, Connecticut for $1.25 an hour. For the first part of the summer we worked in fields under white tents tying the plants so they would grow straight. The second half of the summer the women were in the sheds sewing the tobacco leaves together and hanging them, so they would dry for processing. The days were long, hot and grueling and the work was monotonous. Nonetheless, I was thrilled to be earning a paycheck and my parents were happy to have me out of the house and gainfully employed.

Read More

Think Local and Give Thanks

November 20, 2017

Sara Gardner, MPH Executive Director

November is the month of Thanksgiving, a time of year when Americans pause and give thanks. In this current political environment, and considering the events of the last few months—hurricanes, mass shootings, and the recent terrorist attack in New York City—I am having a hard time finding something good. Typically, I am a glass-half-full kind of person, though as we move closer to this Thanksgiving season, I have found it hard to shake this malaise.

Read More

Is There a Cure for Violence?

October 24, 2017

Sara Gardner, MPH Executive Director

We live in a violent culture. Not a day goes by that we don’t read about another act of senseless violence. From the proliferation of mass shootings like what we saw in Las Vegas a few weeks ago to the youth stabbing here in a Bronx High school last month. Predictably, there have been renewed calls for action, be it gun control or improving school safety standards. Though both are important, they are singular solutions. We need to apply a public health approach to bring a comprehensive solution to our complex and multi-faceted epidemic of violence.

Read More