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Partnership for Healthy Cities targets significant improvements in urban health

(May 16, 2017, New York, USA) – Vital Strategies today congratulated World Health Organization (WHO) Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the WHO, and participating cities around the world on the launch of the Partnership for Healthy Cities. This global initiative promotes and supports city leaders who commit to adopting a smart, proven, specific policy to prevent NCDs and injuries by 2018. Vital Strategies joins Bloomberg Philanthropies and WHO as an implementing partner in this initiative, providing technical assistance, as needed, to participating cities as they pursue evidence-based interventions that deliver results.

The Partnership lends a novel approach to improving public health by encouraging cities to commit at the highest political level to implement one of ten proven policies identified by WHO as effective in protecting people from exposure to NCD and injury risk factors, and improving the environments in which people live and work. When put in place and strongly enforced, these interventions will result in changing people’s behaviors, creating healthy environments, and strengthening health data to better inform policy decisions. Participating cities in the initiative receive access to financial and technical support to accelerate these policies, as needed. They additionally join a global network of mayors and other passionate city leaders, gaining opportunities to improve collaboration and share good practices in urban settings.

“Vital Strategies has been a key partner of Bloomberg Philanthropies for many years, and their smart, fast and effective work has helped us improve public health around the world,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases. “We’re looking forward to collaborating with them on the Partnership for Healthy Cities, which has the potential to impact millions of lives.”

José Luis Castro, President and CEO, Vital Strategies, commented: “We must take bold steps to reduce NCDs and injuries. With two-thirds of the world’s population living in cities by 2050, if we can create healthier cities today, future generations will also reap the benefits. I extend our sincere thanks and congratulations to Mr. Bloomberg and Bloomberg Philanthropies for their continued and important leadership in the global fight against preventable disease, injury and death. We look forward to working with cities in the Partnership for Healthy Cities and are excited about our collective potential to deliver positive change and save lives.”

NCDs including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, and injuries caused by road-traffic crashes kill 44 million people globally each year. The problem is particularly acute in low- and middle-income countries, where NCDs account for 67 percent of deaths. Yet, just over one percent of development assistance for health is spent on addressing them. As the majority of the world’s population now lives in urban settings, cities can play a critical role in reversing this epidemic by implementing policies to accelerate the fight against preventable disease and injuries.

About The Partnership for Healthy Cities:

Bloomberg Philanthropies and its strategic partners are launching a prestigious global network of municipal governments around the world to accelerate the implementation of proven, high-impact policy interventions targeting noncommunicable diseases and injuries. The partnership leverages the unique positioning of mayors to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, including improving health and creating safer, more sustainable cities. For more information, visit:

About Vital Strategies

Vital Strategies is a global health organization that seeks to accelerate progress on the world’s most pressing health problems. Our team combines evidence-based strategies with innovation to help develop and implement sound public health policies, manage programs efficiently, strengthen data systems, conduct research, and design strategic communication campaigns for policy and behavior change. To find out more, please visit or Twitter @VitalStrat.

For further information or to arrange an interview with a Vital Strategies public health and tobacco control expert, please contact Tracey Johnston, Vital Strategies, at +44.7889.081.170 or