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Public Health

By spreading proven public health measures, we can save millions of lives every year.

Some of the world’s most common causes of death are preventable. Tobacco use, road crashes, drowning, and obesity claim millions of lives each year. On these and other major public health challenges, we increasingly know what measures work to save lives and prevent illnesses – and the right resources go a long way in helping those measures spread. By helping local and national governments identify and apply effective strategies, we are making major progress.



October 2016

Mike Bloomberg donates $25 million through Bloomberg Philanthropies to end polio globally. The donation, Bloomberg’s second contribution to polio eradication, will support the work of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI).

January 2016

Global partners in the fight against obesity meet formally in New York for the first time to focus on expanded implementation and share best practices from their work in Mexico.


December 2014

A comprehensive Obesity Prevention Bill, including strong marketing, school food, and labeling regulations supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies’ partners is presented in the Mexican Senate for consideration.

December 2014

As part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Global Road Safety program, partners and local governments assess over 12,400 miles of high-risk roads in India, China, Brazil, Egypt and Russia.

November 2014

With support from Bloomberg Philanthropies and its partners, Beijing, China enacts a smoke-free law, covering 11.5 million people from second-hand smoke. Bloomberg Philanthropies has supported work in China since 2007.

September 2014

Bloomberg Philanthropies joins the Government of Tanzania, Kigoma region, and EngenderHealth to open a new satellite blood facility – the first in the Kigoma region, where the Bloomberg Philanthropies Maternal Health Project operates.

September 2014

A preliminary evaluation conducted by the University of North Carolina and Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health shows the tax on sugary drinks in Mexico has resulted in a decline in purchases of sugary drinks and an increase in purchases of water.

July 2014

The UN Foundation, host of Family Planning 2020 (FP 2020), launches a Bloomberg Philanthropies-supported Rapid Response Mechanism to provide grants for urgent needs and catalytic opportunities in any of the 69 FP 2020 focus countries.

May 2014

In a ceremony in Jerusalem, Mike Bloomberg dedicates a new torah scroll in memory of his parents, William and Charlotte Bloomberg. The scroll resides at MDA’s William H. Bloomberg Emergency Medical Station in Jerusalem.

March 2014

Organizations in Uganda and Vietnam receive Bloomberg Philanthropies grants for programs targeting water safety and use of life jackets around Lake Victoria in Uganda and providing swimming lessons to 1,000 school-aged children in Vietnam.

January 2014

In preparation for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, Bloomberg Philanthropies funds road safety audits of Rio de Janeiro’s TransOeste and TransCarioca bus rapid transit corridors. Recommendations from the audits saved lives by reducing crashes and increasing pedestrian physical activity.


December 2013

Mayor Bloomberg signs into law a bill that expands the NYC Smoke-Free Air Act to include electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes. This new measure discourages the use of the unregulated nicotine delivery devices and supports the enforcement of smoke-free laws.

December 2013

Mayor Bloomberg and
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly announce that 2013 saw the fewest homicides and shootings in recorded City history. Homicides have fallen nearly 50%, shootings are down by 32%, and overall crime is down 32% since 2001.

June 2013

Mayor Bloomberg and Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan introduce the WalkNYC wayfinding program, the first ever citywide system of pedestrian signs, providing a much-needed navigational tool for New Yorkers and visitors across the boroughs.

May 2013

New York City firefighters begin using the Risk Based Inspection System application – the first of its kind in the nation – to improve the Department’s building inspection program by focusing on structures that pose the greatest fire risk.

May 2013

Bloomberg Philanthropies’ partners launch the “12 spoonfuls of sugar” campaign in Mexico, to bring attention to the large amounts of sugar in soda. The campaign won a national award for its impact.

January 2013

With support from Bloomberg Philanthropies and its partners, Vietnam passes tobacco control legislation, including strong smoke-free and advertising ban regulations.


June 2012

Bloomberg Philanthropies launches an obesity prevention program in Mexico to support local stakeholders to promote policies, including restrictions on marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to children and taxes on sugary beverages.

February 2012

Mike Bloomberg announces an urgent $250,000 matching grant to Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) after a major funder discontinued most of its grants to PPFA for breast cancer screening.

January 2012

Mayor Bloomberg announces for the first time in city history, 911 emergency call takers and dispatchers from the NYPD, FDNY and Emergency Medical Dispatch services are located on the same floor and operating on the same technology, improving inter-agency communications and emergency response.


November 2011

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention releases 14-country Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) papers funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

November 2011

Bloomberg Philanthropies
releases a five-year progress report on the global effort to reduce tobacco led by the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use. Partners of the initiative also release the first searchable database of tobacco control laws.

October 2011

In honor of his late father, Mayor Bloomberg dedicates the William H. Bloomberg MDA Jerusalem Station, a new emergency medical service station. The Mayor’s father played a formative role in his philanthropy, teaching him the values of giving back and fighting injustice.

June 2011

Bloomberg Philanthropies convenes a group of 20 national and international obesity prevention experts to help formulate a response to the global obesity epidemic.

May 2011

China stiffens drinking and driving penalties, with the passage of a zero tolerance law. China is one of ten countries supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies’ $125 million program to reduce road traffic fatalities and injuries.

January 2011

Bloomberg Philanthropies upgrades and equips 10 remote health centers in Tanzania and provides training in emergency obstetric care for over 100 non-physician clinicians.


September 2010

Through technical support and guidance, Bloomberg Philanthropies helps support a new law that passes in Guadalajara, Mexico to reduce legal blood alcohol content from .15% to .05%.

July 2010

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene begins requiring restaurants to post letter grades summarizing their sanitary inspection scores.

April 2010

Bloomberg Philanthropies’ partners organize a media campaign to galvanize youth against tobacco sponsorship, which results in singer and songwriter Kelly Clarkson dropping tobacco sponsorship for her Jakarta, Indonesia concert.

June 2010

The first Global Status Report on Road Safety, funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies examines 128 countries for their road traffic fatalities and injuries, and reveals that 80% of fatalities occur in low- and middle-income countries.


March 2009

Mayor Bloomberg hosts the first-ever Bloomberg Awards for Global Tobacco Control at the World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Mumbai.


April 2008

New York City’s Department of Health launches its annual smoking cessation program which distributes free nicotine patches to those trying to quit and new hard-hitting ads to encourage New Yorkers to quit smoking.

January 2008

First commissioned report funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies on country-specific tobacco economics released. In total, 15 tobacco economics reports have been released.

January 2008

In Turkey, the first smoke-free law passes (2008-2009). Bloomberg Philanthropies’ partners provided support to Turkey in planning for the smoke-free law and have since provided support to help ensure that the law is enforced.


September 2007

The first Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health leadership program begins. As of 2013, this program is now in its 7th year and nearly 600 people from dozens of countries have attended the two-week training.

January 2007

With support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the World Lung Foundation releases a set of the best anti-tobacco mass media campaigns for worldwide use. To date, 30 countries have aired 144 campaigns and many more have accessed the best-practice anti-tobacco mass media materials.


November 2006

Bloomberg Philanthropies announces $125 million Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use grant to five key partner organizations will implement the initiative, coordinate activities and providing grants to other organizations to promote freedom from smoking.


March 2003

The Smoke-Free Air Act (SFAA) of 2002 goes into effect, protecting the health of New Yorkers against the harmful effects of secondhand smoke by making virtually all workplaces smoke-free.


December 2002

Mayor Bloomberg signs the Smoke Free Air Act (SFAA) of 2002, which protects the health of New York City workers against the harmful effects of secondhand smoke by making virtually all workplaces, including bars and restaurants, smoke free.

July 2002

In an effort to reduce smoking in New York City, Mayor Bloomberg signs legislation to raise taxes on cigarettes. Cigarettes in New York City now have the highest price in the nation.