NYAM Urban Health, Healthy Aging

Healthy Aging

NYAM works to create environments, policies, and programs that will allow older adults in New York City and around the nation and the world to live longer, healthier lives and stay fully engaged in their communities. As approximately one-fifth of the world’s population will be 60 years of age by the year 2030, New York City—and cities worldwide—must prepare now to meet the needs of their expanding older populations.

NYAM Urban Health, Prevention


Neighborhoods without fresh food stores, schools without playgrounds, unsafe housing, and polluted air all make good health a daily challenge for millions of city dwellers. NYAM works in tandem with local, state and national public health and community leaders to tackle the root causes of avoidable illness, disability, and death. Our work includes community-based programs and state and national policy advocacy with special emphasis on our own East Harlem community.

NYAM Urban Health, Health Disparities

Eliminating Health Disparities

Urban environments give rise to health disparities that cannot be explained by an individual’s behavior alone, but are directly related to differences in the physical and social characteristics of neighborhoods. Understanding and intervening to eliminate these disparities is fundamental to NYAM’s research and action to improve urban health. NYAM’s work targets vulnerable populations including the working poor, homebound older adults, injection drug users, and currently and formerly incarcerated individuals.

NYAM Urban Health Communities

Engaging Communities

NYAM has a long history of involvement in New York City communities through its community-based participatory research to develop interventions that reduce the health disparities within urban populations, its school health education programs, and its policy work. More recently, NYAM has committed to broader and deeper engagement with its neighboring East Harlem community, Central Harlem, and the South Bronx.

NYAM Urban Health, Global Health

Global Health

World population estimates project that over half the world’s population currently lives in cities; this proportion is expected to rise to 60 percent over the next two decades. NYAM is committed to advancing global urban health and sharing lessons learned through our New York City and national initiatives. We serve as technical advisors to international organizations and cities around the world in the areas of urban health, health workforce issues, and Age-friendly Cities.

Urban Health

The Academy’s Institute for Urban Health brings together our expert professional staff to address the urgent health needs of rapidly growing urban environments. Focusing on our priority areas—healthy aging, prevention, and eliminating health disparities---we pursue multi-dimensional answers that consider the social, physical, and economic conditions that impact the health of individuals and the communities in which they live.

The Institute bridges the landscape of competing ideas by generating new knowledge through innovative research and evaluation, and by translating data and debate into decisive action—and concrete policy. The Academy’s Institute houses the Center for Health Policy and Programs as well as three urban health research centers—the Center for Cognitive Studies in Medicine & Public Health, the Center for Health Innovation, and the Center for Evaluation and Applied Research.

The Academy has shaped the field of urban health by publishing multiple books and the bi-monthly Journal of Urban Health, working with the World Health Organization and other international agencies as expert advisors, establishing the International Society for Urban Health, and organizing international conferences.

Urban Health Journalism Prize

The New York Academy of Medicine has announced the winner of its inaugural Urban Health Journalism Prize, Brie Zeltner of the Cleveland daily, The Plain Dealer.

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Journal of Urban Health

The Journal of Urban Health addresses a range of urban health issues from both clinical and policy perspectives.
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NYAM Publication

Jo Ivey Boufford, MD is the co-editor of Urban Health: Global Perspectives, which identifies priority problems and outlines solutions that can generate and sustain healthy urban environments.

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