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Case for Action

Bronx Partners for Healthy Communities (BPHC) serves the entire Bronx, a culturally vibrant urban community with a growing population of close to 1.5 million residents.

Social and Economic determinants play a significant part in driving our community’s health care needs. Most recent census data suggest that the Bronx is the poorest county in New York State with approximately 30% of residents living in poverty, and a 12% unemployment rate. Over a third of the population resides in affordable or inadequate housing, such as overcrowding or the absence of a kitchen or plumbing. The Bronx’s violent crime rate is nearly double the statewide rate. Hispanics and African Americans make up 84% of the population and suffer from considerable health disparities, such as higher rates of pre-term births, HIV infection, and premature death. Close to a third of Bronx residents are immigrants, resulting in language and cultural barriers, and a highly transient population. The Bronx is a medically underserved area, with almost half of residents living in a federally designated Health Professional Shortage Area, and 16% lacking health insurance (pre-Affordable Care Act implementation).

Though the Bronx represents only 7% of the State population, it accounts for 22% of asthma hospitalizations and the county’s diabetes mortality rate is 60% higher than the State’s rate. The population in the Bronx also experiences higher than average rates of preventable hospitalizations and ED utilization, particularly pronounced in the African American and Hispanic populations, whose utilization rates are two to three times higher than the State average. In addition, almost a quarter of Bronx Medicaid beneficiaries have been treated for a behavioral health issue, reflecting only a fraction of the need. Overall, the Bronx ranks last in health outcomes among New York counties.

Despite these statistics, the Bronx is well positioned for transformation. BPHC strives to meet and exceed its population health goals through targeted interventions aimed at effectively engaging the most needy and vulnerable residents of the community.