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Advocates Urge Mayor de Blasio to Fully Cover State Budget Cuts to NYC Public Health Programs in FY20 Budget

May 16, 2019 / SCO News

SCO Family of Services joined forces with other nonprofit providers to bring awareness to NYC Mayor’s current executive budget proposal, which excludes matching funds for Council discretionary-funded community-based organizations.

Nearly 80 healthcare providers, advocates, and community members joined with City Council Members Levine, Rivera, and Eugene at City Hall to call on the Mayor to fully mitigate the impact of New York State Article 6 budget cuts in New York City’s FY2020 Budget. Due to state budget cuts, NYC faces at least a $62.4 million deficit in funding support for critical NYC public health programs. While the Mayor’s April executive budget proposal included $59 million in the budget purported to mitigate the impact, these funds would only cover administrative costs to the Department of Mental Health and Hygiene’s programs. In doing so, the Mayor’s budget fails to cover Article 6 matching funds for City Council discretionary-funded public health programs.

Nurse-Family Partnership is a national, evidence-based home visiting program that supports teens and women pregnant with their first baby. Mothers are paired with registered nurses and receive regular visits from early pregnancy until their child’s second birthday.

Since 2005, SCO’s Nurse-Family Partnership has played a vital part in improving outcomes for young children, and yet it will lose funding because of the enacted New York State Article VI cuts that will force SCO and other community-based organizations to reduce vital health services to compensate for reduced funding.

“Given that we work in communities of color, where there continues to be troubling and persistent health and social disparities, including Severe Maternal Morbidity and Mortality, it is critical that we sustain and protect the very services in place that have been proven to reduce such inequities and break cycles of poverty,” said Shakima Wiggins, Nurse at SCO’s Nurse-Family Partnership Program.

“At this critical time when our City recognizes the importance of maternal and infant health initiatives to improve outcomes and reduce disparities in low-income and communities of color, we cannot afford to scale back programs due to cuts in State funding,” said Keith Little, Executive Director, SCO Family of Services. “Programs like SCO’s Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) empower over 400 first-time mothers each year in Brownsville, Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights, and East New York, to create healthier futures for themselves and their children. We urge the Mayor and the City Council to keep NFP and other programs funded by Article 6 whole and accessible for New York’s families.”

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