Community Advisory Board Members With a History of Addiction, Sought

The Department of Health and Mental Hygene would like to get community members with lived experience of drug use to join a Community Advisory Board. Here’s their pitch:

I hope this email finds you well.  

My name is Roxana from the New York City Health Department of Health’s Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Use Prevention, Care, and Treatment. With our first membership cycle closing at the end of June 2022, we are in the process of recruiting for our second Community Advisory Board (CAB) cohort comprised of people with lived experience of substance use and are looking for member nominations. Since your organization provides services to community members, I am writing to ask for your assistance to identify people who might be interested in serving on the board.

Ideally, we would like to recruit individuals with lived experience of drug use who areat any point on the continuum (from active use to recovery) who would be interested in using their experiences to inform ways in which DOHMH can better support people who use drugs. Once selected, members will be invited to attend six 2-hour meetingsto be held within Fiscal Year 2023 (July 2022-June 2023). Meetings will be facilitated by staff from BADUPCT and CAB members will receive a stipend for participation after each meeting. Nominees must have a tax identification number (TIN) or a social security number (SSN) in order to receive payment for attending the meetings.     

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the logistical complications of booking a physical meeting site, we anticipate that the CAB meetings will be held virtually on a video platform such as zoom or Google meet. Members without a smartphone or tablet access will have the option to call in, but basic phone access is required. 

You can email or give me a call at 703-981-5234.

Thanks so much!  

Roxana A. Hernandez, MPH | she, her, hers

Policy Analyst

Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Use Prevention, Care, and Treatment

NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

42-09 28th Street, Long Island City, NY, 11101

Ph: 347-396-4866

Email: [email protected]

Join the Harlem Arts Stroll This Saturday

Click to register: Harlem Arts Stroll

Celebrate the artistry of local creatives at the Harlem Arts Stroll. The event—hosted by a collective of Harlem-based galleries and businesses from 110th Street to 155th Street—will give attendees a lens into the community’s rich culture through art. The stroll will commence at Calabar Gallery and a map of all locations will be sent to registered participants. Saturday, July 9, 1:00 pm

NYC Covid mandates require registrations of all attendees.

It’s very much local and global. Come experience of Harlem culture. Email us [email protected]








HARLEM 4 ALL @harlem4all









UP MAGAZINE @up__mag

November 9th – HNBA Monthly Meeting

Hello Harlem Neighbors, mark your calendar for 7:00 PM on Tuesday, November 9th. HNBA will have Michael Lythcott attend to explain the new National Black Theater building project that will replace the former building on 5th Avenue between 125/126.

This large new cultural center and residence will be a major landmark in our community. Learn more about the project, the theater, the residences, and much, much more.

(Note that Michael had been unable to attend an earlier HNBA meeting due to a scheduling conflict but is now excited about presenting the project to us on November 9th)

In addition to the National Black Theater, we will also have representatives from the NYC Department of Health’s Rat team who will talk about how we can all best deal with the rats who’ve also been profoundly impacted by changes stemming from our behavior during COVID, as well as the recent storms/flooding.

Lastly, we’ll have representatives from  Chelton Loft, which is located on East 126th Street between Park and Lex. They serve people with mental illness and run a strong program that includes wellness classes, job placement and cooking vegetables from our farmers market.

It’s a great lineup, and we hope to see you there. If you’d like to attend, make sure to subscribe to this newsletter:

And we’ll email you the Zoom link.

Opioid Injection Site in East Harlem Floated by DOHMH

On Monday the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene visited CB11 and floated a trial balloon to hint that they are considering locating an opioid injection site in East Harlem.

The full presentation was given by Dr. Cunningham and is available here:

The specific pitch for the need for opioid injection sites is here:

If you are on Twitter, please reach out to @DrChinazo and/or her boss @NYCHealthCommr with any thoughts you might have on opioid injection sites being located in East Harlem. Feel free to use the hashtag:


If you are not on Twitter, you can email Dr. Cunningham at: [email protected]

If you would like to read more about how DOHMH talks about #SystemicRacism in publications (yet somehow always puts programs like this in communities like Harlem and East Harlem…) see:

I’ve been to Vancouver and have seen their first opioid injection site. You can see a December 2020 streetview here:,+Vancouver,+BC+V6A+1N6,+Canada/@49.2813529,-123.1011459,3a,84.9y,355.97h,89.9t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s8gXxDwbjnW9AIKQqCL6KeQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192!4m5!3m4!1s0x548671708d2ac5e9:0x7f2a5cbc33b30f70!8m2!3d49.2815437!4d-123.1012604?hl=en

Rats! Back Up

The Department of Health (and Mental Hygiene) has finally released their new, improved Rat Portal (which sounds like something you wouldn’t want rats to have access to…).

You can go to the portal, select your community district, and look at your block to see where rat complaints, sightings, eradication, and inspections are going on:

The data, like all 311 data, is biased towards communities who report such things, but it does give you a sense of where rats may be lurking in your community. In the map below, pink buildings/locations are rat hot-spots:

Every complaint and inspection is digitally documented, and you can see that the building at the corner of 124/Madison Avenue (north-west corner), has had 20 rat inspections in the last 6 years, and is currently listed ‘pink’, and thus evidence of rats was found with DOHMH inspectors last went to the location.

Rapid Rehousing

The Rapid Re-Housing Program (RRH) at the Violence Intervention Program (VIP) is a housing
intervention method used to connect individuals and families, who are domestic and interpersonal
violence survivors, to permanent housing through tailored financial assistance and supportive services.

With an intended goal of reducing the amount of time, the individual or family is homeless.
Our Rapid Re-Housing Program will locate and recruit landlords within our communities willing to rent to individuals and families attempting to flee domestic and interpersonal violence and receiving assistance from the VIP Rapid Re-Housing Program. We will work together to match our program participants/ clients to appropriate housing. Program participants/ clients will be offered permanent housing that is decent, safe, and affordable even after our financial assistance ends.

Community Cluster of Legionnaires’ Disease in and Around Central Harlem

DOHMH is currently investigating a community cluster of Legionnaires’ disease in Central Harlem (zip codes 10037 and 10039) and bordering communities. Nine people have been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease since August 9th. Adults who have been in the affected area since August 1st with flu-like symptoms, fever, cough, or difficulty breathing should seek immediate medical attention. We will hold a virtual community meeting on Thursday, August 19, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m:

Heart Attacks

Heart attacks can stem from genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors including ambient air pollution and second-hand smoke.

About the Measure

Heart Attack Hospitalizations – Age-Adjusted Rate Adults – 65 Yrs and Older

How Calculated: 

Number of NYC resident adults 65 years and older hospitalized for heart attack (acute myocardial infarction), summed within 5-year age groups, and divided by the population in each age group, using NYC DOHMH intercensal estimates; quotients are multiplied by the proportion of the 2000 US population in each age group.

Source: New York State Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System (SPARCS) Deidentified Hospital Discharge Data

Report Open Hydrants – Request an FDNY Spray Cap

Register to Vote!

The City has a great newsletter (below) that details everything you ever needed to know about registering to vote, and how to help register others: your colleagues, friends, neighbors, family, etc.

Print allIn new windowCan you vote in New York’s June 22 primary election?

We’re officially six weeks out from Election Day on June 22

But there’s another date you need to mark on your calendar: May 28. That’s the last day you can register to vote in the June 22 primary. 

To help make sure that as many New Yorkers as possible participate in choosing our next leaders, we’re going to break down who has the right to vote in New York, how to register and how to help someone register to vote. 

If you’re already registered to vote, feel free to share this with others. As we’ve said what seems like a million times, these elections will be momentous in shaping the future of the city.

Who has the right to vote in New York?

To be able to cast a ballot in New York, you need to be a U.S. citizen who has lived in the city/state for at least 30 days, not currently incarcerated for a felony conviction and at least 18 years old. 

If you turn 18 on or before June 22, you’ll be able to vote, so make sure you register now. And remember, all 16 and 17 year olds can pre-register to vote, which means you automatically become a registered voter the day you turn 18.

Can I vote if I am an immigrant?

If you have become a naturalized U.S. citizen since moving here, you can vote

Otherwise, you can’t vote in New York… yet. A coalition of nonprofit organizations has been pushing to expand city voting to nearly 900,000 immigrants across the five boroughs, including green card holders, DACA recipients and people with certain work permits. 

Paul Westrick, senior manager of democracy policy at the New York Immigration Coalition, said: “It’s a huge population of New Yorkers who may not have the piece of paper that they’re a citizen, but they’re New Yorkers. We have folks who are woven into the fabric of New York City and who are being taxed but not represented.”

The expansion has broad support in the City Council, among a few borough presidents, numerous local state and federal elected officials and even from some mayoral candidates, but it will not pass before the 2021 elections. If the measure passes later, it would mean non-citizen immigrants with certain statuses could vote in New York City municipal elections, but not in statewide or national contests. Keep your eyes out for 2023. 

What if I’ve been convicted of a felony?

Big news: Just last week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law that gives people back their right to register to vote as soon as they’re released from prison. That includes everyone still on parole or probation, even those convicted of a felony. 

“Anyone who has been formerly incarcerated and is now out in the community has the right to vote. There’s no sort of question or anything like that,” said Nick Encalada-Malinowski, Civic Rights Campaign Director for VOCAL-NY.

In 2018, Cuomo issued an executive order that granted the right to vote to most but not all people on parole through a pardon process. It was a little confusing, so the new law clears it up and makes the right permanent for anyone who has been formerly incarcerated.

Once again, because there is a lot of confusion and misinformation about this: State law now says if you were incarcerated and now you’re out, you have the right to register to vote. 

When someone is released from prison, they do need to *re-register* to vote, even if they were a registered voter before they were incarcerated. 

What if I’ve moved? Do I need to re-register?

If you’ve moved from out of state, you need to re-register, but if you’ve moved from somewhere else in New York, you just need to file a change of address request with the BOE/Post Office/DMV so you can vote in your current district. You can do that here.

How do I register to vote?

You have a few options…

If you have a New York driver’s license or state ID from the Department of Motor Vehicles, you can register online using a tool from NYC Votes and TurboVote, here

If you don’t have a New York driver’s license or state ID, the law requires that you sign an actual form and mail it to the Board of Elections office.

You can use this site to have the forms mailed to you, or you can download and print the forms yourself to fill out and mail in. If you request to have them sent to you, they come with a pre-addressed envelope to send them back.

You will be asked to plug in your name as it appears on your state ID. If you don’t have one, that’s ok. Just put how your name appears on official documents.

If you need language access or you want to help someone register to vote in another language, you can download the registration forms and FAQs in a bunch of languages here

You can also request voter registration forms in various languages by calling 1-866-VOTENYC.

Lastly, you can pick up voter registration forms at any library branch, any post office or any city agency office. 

After you fill them out, mail them to the BOE’s main office:

Board of Elections 
32 Broadway, 7 Fl 
New York, NY 10004-1609

And make sure it’s postmarked by May 28

Other materials needed: If you don’t have a state ID, you will need to provide the last four digits of your social security number. 

 To vote in the June 22 election, you have to register with a party.

If you want to vote in the primary election next month, you need to register with a party. This is because New York has what’s called a closed primary.

For example, to choose from the 13 Democratic candidates for mayor, you need to be registered as a Democrat. If you’re not affiliated with a party or you’re registered as an independent, you can’t vote in the primaries.

According to city Campaign Finance Board officials, there are nearly 5 million registered voters in New York City as of March. Of those, about 3.3 million are registered Democrats and eligible to vote in the Democratic primaries. There are just under 500,000 registered Republicans in the city who may vote in Republican primaries. About a million voters are either registered with a third party or have no party affiliation, so they can’t vote in the primary. So if you’re planning on voting June 22, check your party.

The deadline to switch parties was Feb. 14, so it’s too late to change your party before the primary.

Don’t miss the deadline!

Once again, you have to register by May 28. New York does not have same-day registration. If you aren’t already registered and you don’t apply either online or send your forms in postmarked by May 28, you will not be able to vote in the June 22 primary. Remember: Early voting starts June 12.

What are *your* election questions?

If you have any questions about the election process, the candidates or any other information when it comes to voting in New York, let us know by replying to this email or sending a note to [email protected].

To subscribe to The City’s awesome newsletter, go to:

Rat Academy!

You can join the virtual Rat Academy, put on by the Department of Health on May 24th and sponsored by the amazing MMPCIA. Learn about preventing rats, and dealing with rats if they arrive. It’s a great and very informative program. Highly recommended for the rat-curious and it certainly falls into the news-you-can-use category of time spent.

Click this link to join:

The Public Health Impacts of PM2.5

The Department of Health and Mental Hygene (DoHMH) has an interesting set of maps showing which communities are most impacted by small particulate matter – PM2.5 – which comes from burning/exhaust.

Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) are tiny airborne solid and liquid particles less than 2.5 microns in diameter. PM2.5 in NYC comes from inside and outside the city from all kinds of combustion activity, including the burning of fuel in vehicles, buildings, power plants, and construction equipment, as well as commercial cooking and industrial activities. PM2.5 can either come directly from these sources or be formed in the atmosphere from other pollutants.

PM2.5 is the most harmful urban air pollutant, small enough to penetrate deep into the lungs and enter the bloodstream, resulting in adverse respiratory and cardiovascular health outcomes and contributing to an increased risk of death and lower life expectancy.

In New York City, current PM2.5 levels contribute to 2300 deaths and 6300 emergency department visits and hospitalizations for respiratory and cardiovascular disease each year. 17% of all emissions come from traffic.

PM2.5 and related health problems from traffic are highest in the poorest neighborhoods in fact, PM2.5 levels from all traffic sources are 50% higher in high poverty neighborhoods relative to low poverty neighborhoods.

Trucks and Busses’ PM2.5 Contributions:
Cars’ PM2.5 Contributions:

PM2.5 From All Sources:

For the DoHMH infographic, see:

NYC Public Health Laboratory Coming to Harlem

The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) is proposing moving their existing facility from 455 1st Ave (btw 27th & 28th, across from Bellevue Hospital) to the Harlem Hospital Campus where they propose to construct a new 10-story approx. 234,742 gsf building to be used as the NYC Public Health Laboratory.
A community forum to discuss the Relocation will be held Thursday, April 29th, 2021 from 6pm-8pm.
Click link below to register in advance for this webinar:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

The location is on West 137th Street, between 5th and Lenox Avenues:

Here is the DOHMH Press Release:

New Public Health Laboratory on the Harlem Hospital Campus

About the Public Health Laboratory

The New York City Health Department’s Public Health Laboratory (PHL) was established in 1892 and performs critical testing to detect and respond to public health emergencies, helping to keep New Yorkers safe and healthy. For example, PHL tests and ensures the safety of our drinking and beach water. In recent years, the PHL has provided emergency response for H1N1, Ebola, hepatitis A, Legionnaires’ disease, Zika virus, measles and COVID-19.

The current PHL facility is located at 455 First Ave., across from Bellevue Hospital and in a residential neighborhood. The PHL is held to the strictest of standards and has never adversely impacted their neighbors or the community. The PHL’s current building is outdated, in poor condition and no longer suitable for the needs of a state of the art, modern and advanced laboratory. Renovation of the 455 1st Ave building to bring it up to current laboratory standards is not possible.

The Location of the Public Health Laboratory 

The new PHL facility will be on the Harlem Hospital campus, beside the Ronald Brown Ambulatory Care Center facing 137th Street.  While the PHL facility will be a new construction project, DOHMH has been a partner in the neighborhood for many years, with the DOHMH Sexual Health Clinic nearby at 2238 5th Avenue.  The 10 story PHL facility will have 5 lab floors and 5 floors primarily dedicated to administrative and back-of-house functions, as well as an auditorium, training lab and “Harlem Express” facility (discussed below).

How the New Public Health Laboratory Facility Will Benefit the Harlem Community

The new facility will include the “Harlem Express” on the main level, where New Yorkers can get screened for sexually transmitted infections with rapid results — one of a few such testing centers in the United States.  New Yorkers currently utilize the “Chelsea Express” in the Chelsea neighborhood, so it’s exciting to bring this advanced, rapid testing technology uptown.  The Harlem Express will also be able to pivot to provide testing and medicines needed during a public health emergency.  For example, the Chelsea Express and new labs built at other DOHMH clinics, including the Central Harlem clinic, are now providing COVID-19 testing in communities, with same day results. 

The PHL will provide training opportunities for students and plans to connect with neighborhood schools to encourage careers in laboratory science.  The DOHMH has a robust partnership with CUNY’s Medical Laboratory Sciences program at Hunter.  Many of those students begin with internships, then move onto full time careers at the PHL. 

The new facility will also include a 200-person auditorium for community use.  We envision the space to be used by the community for meetings, events and gatherings.  We want to be good neighbors and partners in the community.

Additional Information About the New Public Health Laboratory Building

The new PHL facility will not permanently take away any spots for on street parking. Employees are encouraged to take mass transit. Six off-street parking spaces will be created as part of the PHL project to support the operation of the laboratory. An undeveloped lot will remain next to the new PHL facility, which may be developed by Harlem Hospital in the future.

Construction activities will be conducted according to the NYC Noise Control Code. The contractor will be required to develop a noise control plan, as well as a dust control plan, which will proactively address how to prevent dust from rising and spreading in the neighborhood. Noise and dust will be kept to a minimum.

Project timeline

  • Early 2020 – 2022: Preparation of the site to build the new PHL facility. 
  • 2022 – 2025: Construction of the new 10-story building will occur. 
  • End of 2025: The new Public Health Lab facility will open. 

Contact us at [email protected]if you have any questions.

East Harlem Residents on NY1 Noticias

Great coverage on NY1 Noticias about how the oversaturation of methadone clinics impacts the quality of life for East Harlem residents.