Yonkers developing Health Equity Task Force to improve health care of most vulnerable
Yonkers leads Westchester in COVID-19 cases, and now the city is fighting back to make sure its most vulnerable citizens have access to efficient and unbiased health care.
Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano says the highest COVID-19 infection rates are in communities of color.
Several community organizations are working with Mayor Spano to develop a Health Equity Task Force to improve the health of minorities, immigrants and the elderly.
One of the advisors on the task force is Cheryl Brannan, who says it's important to level the playing field.
"We want to make some changes that are systemic. So we lift up the least of us, we're lifting up all the communities here in the city of Yonkers," says Brannan.
Dr. Jim Bostic, of the Nepperhan Community Center, says the pandemic has highlighted health disparities in Yonkers.
"As an agency that serves 98% minorities, I see many disparities on many levels," says Bostic.
Minorities make up a little more than half of the population In Yonkers. The ZIP codes with the highest infection rates are in southwest Yonkers.
City officials says they hope the task force will improve and expand health care to those who have been affected by COVID-19.
The next step for the task force is to collect information and create a so-called health equity score card that will highlight gaps and opportunities to close health disparities that affect minority and immigrant populations.