BP Diaz holds health summit in Bronx

The Bronx is one sick place.

A recent national survey of county-by-county health statistics found the borough to be the unhealthiest county in New York state, with 24% of its people ranked in fair or poor health, with 18% of the population smoking, 28% considered obese, and 17% medically uninsured.

The numbers also show 15% of the borough’s population engage in excessive drinking, while only 30% get the recommended amount of physical activity, and 41% of its children live below the poverty line.

The survey was based on how long and how well people live, depending on multiple factors including childhood poverty, rates of smoking, obesity levels and access to physicians and dentists.

Other factors such as access to healthy foods, levels of physical inactivity and teen birth rates were taken into account in the survey by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin,

Livingston County in western New York was ranked as the healthiest county, followed by Rockland. Putnam, Westchester and Nassau counties.

As an initiative to raise awareness of the health issues in the Bronx, Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will host a Health and Wellness Summit at Fordham University’s Rose Hill Campus on Saturday, April 6 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“We see this event as a major first step towards a comprehensive health and wellness agenda for not just the Bronx but the entire City, and I urge everyone with an interest in these important topics to sign up for a day of thought-provoking discussion on the health of our City,” Diaz said.

Up to 30 breakout sessions, in Spanish and English, will be held as part of the summit, including topics on access to health care, community health and behavioral health.

Dr. Max Gomez, award-winning health correspondent for CBS, will present the summit’s keynote address.

One of TV’s most respected medical journalists, he has produced award-winning health and science segments for network stations in New York and Philadelphia, and reported for Dateline, Today Show and 48 Hours.

Over almost three decades, he’s earned nine Emmy Awards, three NY State Broadcaster’s Association awards and UPI’s “Best Documentary” award.

He was also named the American Health Foundation’s “Man of the Year.”

Registration to attend the summit can be found at the Borough President’s website: bronxboropres.nyc.gov/.

Kirsten Sanchez can be reach via e-mail at ksanchez@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3394

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