Media Release
Media Release
Press Contact: LeConté Dill, Public Information Officer, Public Health Dept., (510) 981-5353

NEW REPORT REVEALS THE STATUS OF RESIDENTS’ HEALTH IN BERKELEY
2007 Health Status Report shows health improvements and work to be done

Berkeley, California (Tuesday, May 22, 2007) - Berkeley residents are living longer, healthier lives, according to the 2007 Health Status Report released today to the City Council. The report offers a snapshot of the health of Berkeley residents and recommends priorities for action aimed at improving health and well-being. 

“Our health department’s vision is healthy people in health communities,” said Dr. Linda Rudolph, Health Officer for the City Of Berkeley. “These data let us understand how we are doing, and where we need to focus our public health efforts.” 

The report, an example of data collected by all health jurisdictions, is a useful tool for researchers, policymakers, and community residents.

By and large, Berkeley residents are healthy—life expectancy has increased, Berkeley has one of the lowest teen birth rates in the state, disparities between African-Americans and whites in access to prenatal care have been eliminated, and youth tobacco use is lower than in California overall. 

Although Berkeley residents are faring better in general, there are still startling inequities in health outcomes based on race, income, neighborhood, and education. These health inequities in Berkeley mirror those found in the rest of the Bay Area, California, and across the country.  

“We need to mount a concerted community campaign to address these health inequities and the social inequities that contribute to them, focusing in neighborhoods and groups with a high burden of risk and illness,” Rudolph said. “But Public Health can’t do it alone—we are committed to working with community members, community-based organizations, and city agencies.”

The Public Health Department proposes four priority areas for action, which are detailed in the report:

A healthy start for every child: Supporting healthy pregnancies, parent-child relationships, and child development.

Positive youth development:  Engaging youth to take leadership on addressing health inequities.

Chronic illness prevention: Making “the healthy choice the easy choice” for all residents to prevent and manage chronic conditions.

Public health preparedness: Working to develop disaster-resilient communities in which residents’ needs are identified, planned for, and addressed.

Public involvement is an important part of the release of this report.  To access the report or find out about community meetings to discuss the findings, call (510) 981-5300, visit www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/publichealth/reports/reports.html, or email publichealth@ci.berkeley.ca.us.

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