Public Health Solutions (PHS) is pleased to release the first issue of Health Briefs, a series of reports that showcase PHS’ data, interventions, and program successes.
This issue, entitled “Public Health Solutions’ Queens Neighborhoods Street Mapping Project” delves into the findings of a 2014 mapping study of the Jackson Heights, Corona, and Jamaica neighborhoods in Queens. The data revealed a number of health risks and health intervention opportunities in those neighborhoods at that time.
Key findings include:
- Food swamps – neighborhoods where fast food and junk food outlets outnumber healthy alternatives – were prevalent. Healthy food access was lacking in these communities, with only one supermarket for every five fast food restaurants and every six corner stores.
- Beauty salons were the single most identified site in all three neighborhoods. Engaging salons as health ambassadors may be a promising opportunity for intervention and outreach.
- Jamaica had the highest number of vacant lots, which pose both health threats and opportunities for community improvement, such as use for community gardens.
Read the full report here.
PHS recognizes that making places healthier requires capacity for planning, delivering, and evaluating public health prevention efforts. This project helped further the understanding of how the places we live, work, learn, and play impact health. This study served as an important step in developing a strategic plan to address the unique barriers each neighborhood faces to better promote health and prevent disease. It was our goal to be able to use this information not only to inform programmatic and policy work, but also to share with PHS’ partners as we continue to work towards addressing the health needs of our program participants. In addition, other health organizations may use these tools and common terminology to conduct similar place-based assessments and document citywide trends in public health.
Stay tuned for the next upcoming Health Briefs issue, which will unveil a successful intervention based on the Queens neighborhoods street mapping project.