To celebrate Black History Month, Project Safety Net is showcasing the achievement and ambitions of Black Long Islanders making national news and creating greater equity in our region. By working to vaccinate communities of color, humanize the justice system, improve health disparities, and address the social-emotional needs of young people, Black Long Islanders battle the factors that erode our common health. Here’s to our local leaders who make a difference!
Challenges, numbers and figures shaping the health of Long Island:
vaccine doses distributed to Black Long Islanders compared to 10.9% who are eligible
African-Americans are 17 times more likely to die from AIDS than Whites in Suffolk County
Dr. Gregson Pigott
Dr. Gregson Pigott is the first Black physician to serve as Health Commissioner for Suffolk County. Aware of the many barriers to health equity on Long Island, Dr. Pigott’s public initiatives address a broad range of factors including the impact of housing discrimination, access to care and education, the on-going opioid crisis, and the disproportionate effects of heart disease, cancer and diabetes on the Black community. Dr. Pigott embraces partnerships with local community and faith-based organizations who provide trusted outreach and support for individuals struggling with substance abuse and mental health. He sits on the Nassau-Suffolk HIV Health Services Planning Council, whose work is largely focused on addressing disparities in treatment, services and outcomes for Long Islanders living with HIV/AIDS.
Long Island schools WITHOUT a Black teacher ON STAFF
Nonwhite Long Islanders ARE nearly 5 times as likely to be arrested