by Eden Laikin
Nassau County and Hofstra University co-hosted a Minority Health Conference on April 9 which included the presentation of health department awards to recognize residents who’ve contributed to the betterment of the minority community through healthy efforts.
Nassau Health Commissioner Dr. Larry Eisenstein opened the conference with a panel discussion and question and answer period with Hofstra students.
Receiving citations on behalf of County Executive Ed Mangano, were Dr. Chuck Madu, owner of Freeport Medical Supply and Xtra Care Pharmacy; Byron Hurt, an award-winning documentary filmmaker, published writer, and lecturer whose latest film, Soul Food Junkies is critically acclaimed and won the CNN Best Documentary award at the American Black Film Festival; and Leisa Dent who, with her mother, owns LL Dent restaurant in Westbury with their vision of home-style American cuisine with a southern flair. Liesa has partnered with the Health Department to provide Healthy cooking demonstrations at numerous county events.
Later, local high school students were able to walk around a health fair where various agencies displayed information on their goods and services. Members of the Nassau County Office of Mental Health and Chemical Dependency spoke with the teens about the connection between mental illness and substance abuse.
The health and welfare of Nassau’s residents has always been a top priority of the Mangano administration and that is why he created the Minority Health bureau, the first of its kind in Nassau County, which focuses on the heath needs and programs of its Minority communities. The bureau has hosted numerous programs, workshops and awareness campaigns in Nassau’s most underserved communities.
Today, Nassau County ranks as one of the healthiest counties in New York State. The County Health Rankings, a report released this week by University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, ranks Nassau County as number one in New York in terms of health factors.