June 3, 2018
CCC appreciates the work the DOHMH has done to improve infant and maternal health in the city. The department’s Birth Equity Initiative, home visiting programs, Healthy Start Brooklyn, and expansion of maternal depression screenings are among the important initiatives the city has undertaken to address poor health outcomes among moms and babies. CCC appreciates the department’s commitment to addressing health equity, and its investment in partnering with community stakeholders to continue working towards policy solutions.
As DOHMH and the City Council continue to consider strategies for addressing poor health outcomes, we urge increased attention to the impact federal immigration policies will have on maternal health. Anticipated changes to the public charge rule would force many New York immigrants to choose between accessing social service programs, and jeopardizing their immigration status. We have already heard anecdotal evidence of federal policies impacting immigrants’ decision to forego essential health services. Fear and uncertainty around federal immigration policies will lead many New Yorkers to avoid necessary care, including critical services for moms and children. We urge DOHMH, the City Council, and the Administration to invest in additional outreach and direct services to immigrant communities.