Monday, December 14, 2015

Saving Gotham

Saving Gotham: a billionaire mayor, activist doctors, and the fight for eight million lives / Tom Farley 310 pgs.

The New York City health department under the leadership of Thomas Frieden became very active in trying to have positive effects on the health of its residents.  One of the first big "wins" was making restaurants and bars smoke free.  Bar owners thought this measure would put them out of business but in the end, business went up.  Turns out there are a lot more people who were avoiding smoky bars than going to smoke in bars.  By lowering smoking rates, the health department could project the number of lives saved.  Backed by Mayor Bloomberg, the department continued to make positive health related changes via regulations and laws.  The argument being, if a known infectious disease killed as many people as tobacco, obesity and high blood pressure, the health commissioner would lose his job.  Why NOT try to improve those things and improve the health of the populous.

I enjoyed this book and learned a lot more about public health verse the way we usually think of medical doctor treating one patient at at time.

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