Health Department Awards $225,000 to Nine Organizations for Community Activation Projects in East Harlem

East Harlem Healthy Neighborhoods Initiative, funded by the New York State Health Foundation and Mount Sinai Health System, through the Fund for Public Health in New York, is a collaborative community effort to eliminate health disparities and transform the health of the East Harlem

June 11, 2016– The Health Department today, in partnership with the New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) and Mount Sinai Hospital, awarded $225,000 to nine community-based organizations for community activation projects at the East Harlem Healthy Neighborhoods Initiative Health in Action Summit. Sixteen organizations proposed their projects before a community member panel for nine grants worth $25,000 each. Funded by the New York State Health Foundation and Mount Sinai Health System, the awarded projects were selected for the quality of their proposals to enhance neighborhood health, such as increasing access to affordable healthy foods, improving the built environment, linking residents to community services, and bolstering economic opportunities. The summit also convened a cross-sector group of representatives from community organizations and residents throughout East Harlem for a day of networking, collaboration, and training geared toward leveraging neighborhood resources to improve health outcomes in East Harlem.

“Community groups and partners are our greatest resource for improving health outcomes in East Harlem,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett.“With this gracious funding from the New York State Health Foundation and the Mount Sinai Health System, we are doing more than implementing projects. We are forging a model of partnership and community engagement that will have a lasting effect on community health.”

“These organizations are bringing outstanding programs to the people of Harlem,” said Council Member Corey Johnson, Chair of the Committee on Health. “Community-based organizations like these grantees know how to bring effective, quality care to the people they serve, so I’m thrilled that the City is supporting their efforts. I look forward to seeing these programs accomplish great things for the community as they’re rolled out, and I thank the Department of Health, NYAM, New York State Health Foundation and Mount Sinai Hospital for supporting these crucial programs.”

"Congratulations to the nine organizations that received funding for projects to improve health outcomes in our community.  I am confident that these projects, directly chosen by Harlem community members, will greatly increase access to healthy produce and promote healthy habits.  Our thanks go out to the New York State Health Foundation, Mount Sinai Hospital, the Center for Health Equity, and the hard working health professionals who are striving to make East Harlem a better place," said New York State Assemblymember Robert Rodriguez.

“By bringing East Harlem residents into the process of deciding how best to award $225,000 in grants to organizations in their community, we are advancing the concept of participatory budgeting in NYC. This is consistent with the Academy’s commitment to assuring that community voices help shape programs and policies that affect them. In this case, we have been pleased to support a process that has allowed residents themselves to identify programs that they feel will promote the health of their community,” said Jo Ivey Boufford, MD, President of the New York Academy of Medicine.

“The East Harlem Healthy Neighborhood Initiative will result in improved health and more services in the East Harlem Community.  Mount Sinai is committed to reducing health disparities and enhancing the quality of life for all East Harlem residents and looks forward to working with the grant awardees to make our community an even better place,” said Brad Beckstrom, Senior Director for Community and Government at Mount Sinai.

The East Harlem Healthy Neighborhoods Initiative Health in Action Summit was organized by the Health Department’s Center for Health Equity to support neighborhood priorities and connect community groups and neighborhood residents to funding and advocacy resources that build community collaboration.

The nine awardees began the process by applying to the East Harlem Healthy Neighborhoods Initiative Community Activation Funds designated to fund community projects that address the social conditions that shape quality of life and health. Upon receiving the grant, organizations have one year to implement their proposals.

Winner Organizations and Projects

Sisterhood Mobilized for AIDS/HIV Research & Treatment (SMART)
Grant will support the training of SMART Ambassadors, women and youth who participate in SMART’s nutrition programming. Ambassadors will assist key program staff in bringing nutrition education and hands-on cooking classes to community venues in East Harlem. The Ambassador will prepare individuals to take on increasing responsibilities, challenging them and affording opportunities to realize their strengths and potential, with the possibility of a career in the food industry.

Concrete Safaris - Outdoor Leadership Academy Expansion
Concrete Safaris’ Outdoor Leadership Academy is an internship program for 14 to 24 year-olds. The goals are to expose youth and young adults to environmental health employment opportunities, develop their leadership skills, and involve them in leading local children in healthy lifestyle activities.

Nullary Care - Cada Paso Activating East Harlem
Cada Paso is a family walking program that connects residents with neighborhood resources.

East Harlem Council for Human Services - East Harlem Up, Out & Healthy!
Up, Out & Healthy will hire peer health educations, fitness instructors, smoking cessation professionals, and a case worker to address service needs and promote healthy lifestyles. By engaging community residents where they live, work and play, the multi-lingual, multi-cultural staff will eliminate barriers and provide access to care.

East Harlem Community Organizations Active in Disasters (COAD) - Community Education and Dissemination Campaign Project
East Harlem COAD’s mission is to make East Harlem a better-prepared and safer community through rapid communication, coordination, identification, and distribution of resources during a public health emergency. This grant would help advance the visibility and design and build out of East Harlem COAD to engage, recruit, and retain primary connecter community service provider organizations.

Exodus Transitional Community - 21st Century East Harlem Youth Empowerment Program
Exodus provides preventive services to young people ages 16 to 24 either at-risk or involved in the criminal justice system to increase change readiness, develop pro-social life skills, and reduce engagement in violence and other harmful behaviors. This grant would fund a customized, evidence-based empowerment program that aims to increase healthy lifestyle choices and skills to prevent violence and criminal justice involvement.

Harvest Home Farmer’s Market - Healthy Seniors NYC

The Healthy Seniors NYC program will deploy a Community Food Educator, responsible for scheduling, marketing, and operating Eating for Good Health cooking demonstrations and nutrition education at senior centers, community centers, and NYCHA and HPD buildings.

Operation Equivalence - ABE and ESOL Program Support
Operation Equivalency Inc. is a Human Resources Administration approved educational provider, and the only Harlem agency offering English and Spanish high school equivalency (HSE) and Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC), formerly the General Equivalency Diploma (GED). This grant would support Adult Basic Education (ABE) and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programs for a 20-weeks, and help identify and coordinate services for enrolled participants with secondary barriers to education, such as poor literacy, immigration, housing, and/or legal issues. 

SCAN New York - Get Healthy, East Harlem: Pop Up Healthy Food
Pop Up Healthy Food Café events are planned and executed by NYCHA residents at Lehman community center. This grant will allow SCAN to host six additional Pop Up Healthy Food Café events, once per month December 2016 through May 2017. In addition, four Cooking Lab Tool Box units will be purchased, which will enable SCAN to conduct twice a month inter-generational cooking labs for families at four NYCHA-based SCAN community centers.

Finalists Organizations
Union Settlement Association Project
Amigos del Museo del Barrio
New York Common Pantry
Marcus Garvey Park Alliance
Hope Community
Little Sisters of the Assumption
East Harlem Tutorial Program
SMART Food for Life

Center for Health Equity

Founded in 2014, the Health Department’s Center for Health Equity amplifies the agency’s work to eliminate health disparities and improve health outcomes in neighborhoods with disproportionately high rates of chronic disease and premature death. The division takes a number of approaches to invest in key neighborhoods, eliminate the social barriers to good health and advance health equity throughout New York City. The Neighborhood Health Action Centers, opening soon, will better link residents with local primary care and community services. The Action Centers will also provide space for community-based organizations and Health Department staff to work together to advance neighborhood health.

The New York Academy of Medicine

Established in 1847, The New York Academy of Medicine continues to address the health challenges facing New York City and the world’s rapidly growing urban populations. We accomplish this through our Institute for Urban Health, home of interdisciplinary research, evaluation, policy and program initiatives; our world class historical medical library and its public programming in history, the humanities, and the arts; and our Fellows program, a network of more than 2,000 experts elected by their peers from across the professions affecting health. Our current priorities are healthy aging, disease prevention, and eliminating health disparities.

The Fund for Public Health in New York
The Fund for Public Health in New York, Inc. (FPHNY) is dedicated to the advancement of the health and well-being of all New York City residents. Towards this aim, the Fund implements programs to address pressing public health needs, develops private sector support for enhancing the health of New Yorkers, and educates New Yorkers about the role they can play in protecting their own health and the health of their families and communities.

New York State Health Foundation
The New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth) is a private, statewide foundation dedicated to improving the health of all New Yorkers. We strive to be focused and purposeful in our work, establish and adhere to clear goals and strategies, and measure our progress. We are committed to making grants, but also to making a difference beyond our dollars: informing health care policy and practice, spreading effective programs to improve the health system, serving as a neutral convener of health leaders across the State, and providing technical assistance to our grantees and partners.

Mount Sinai Health System
The Mount Sinai Health System is an integrated health system committed to providing distinguished care, conducting transformative research, and advancing biomedical education. Structured around seven hospital campuses and a single medical school, the Health System has an extensive ambulatory network and a range of inpatient and outpatient services.

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