New legislation introduced by CM Schulman aims to help raise New Yorkers’ life expectancy to 83 years

File photo by Paul Frangipane

The City Council passed legislation introduced by Council Member Lynn Schulman last month, solidifying the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s HealthyNYC initiative to extend the life expectancy of New Yorkers to 83 years over the next six years.

Schulman, who serves as the Chair of the Committee of Health, continues to ensure city agencies stay true to their commitment to help improve the health of New York natives.

As part of Local Law 46 (Int 0093) the DOH will be required to release a five-year population health agenda to continue improving public health and demonstrate the steps it’s taking to raise the life expectancy of New Yorkers.

Additionally, the local law requires the DOH to submit the agenda to the Mayor, the City Council Speaker, and on the department’s website for public view, for the foreseeable future. Schulman explains that the commitment from the DOH will allow future generations to keep track of public health outside of political term limits.

“This law is uniquely designed to exist beyond any political or government body to ensure maximum success and will construct an accountability mechanism to make sure that City government, alongside community stakeholders, is laser-focused in ensuring that this important health goal is achieved,” Schulman said.

When HealthyNYC began its public health campaign in 2023, it released challenging life expectancy data results following the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Data shared by the DOH in 2021 revealed an increase in life expectancy for New Yorkers from 78 years in 2020 to 80 years.

The focus of DOH shifted following the pandemic, to focus on limiting what’s described as cross-cutting issues leading to early death. An increased effort to give access to health care options, mental health, and social services were highlighted in the city agency’s campaign rollout.

The HealthyNYC campaign also aims to reduce cardiovascular disease and diabetes deaths by 5%; limit screenable cancer deaths by 20%; decrease overdose deaths by 25%; reduce suicide deaths by 10%; shrink homicide deaths by 30%; mitigate pregnancy-associated mortality among Black women by 10% by 2030; and cut COVID-19 deaths by 60% by 2030.

Last year, Schulman also received approval for legislation she introduced in city council that requires the DOH to develop a diabetes impact reduction plan. Schulman’s office tells QNS that they are expecting to obtain the data from the diabetes impact reduction plan in upcoming weeks.