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NYSHealth and NYSDOH Announce Recipients of Grant Awards to Advance New York State’s Prevention Agenda 2013–17

Awards Totaling $500,000 from the Foundation to Help 27 Local Health Departments Improve Health and Reduce Health Disparities in Their Communities

April 9, 2014 (Schenectady) – The New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth) has selected 17 organizations for grant awards totaling $500,000 to help 27 local county health departments across New York State advance the goals of the New York State Department of Health’s (NYSDOH) Prevention Agenda 2013–17.

All 58 local health departments were required to submit a Community Health Improvement Plan to the State outlining their strategies to further the goals of the Prevention Agenda. To help energize the implementation of these plans, NYSHealth launched a matching grants initiative and selected the health departments with the most innovative and feasible projects for grant awards of up to $50,000 to improve the health and wellbeing of their communities. Final grants will be awarded to health departments that raise matching funds from local investors.

The county health departments have engaged a wide range of community partners to help implement evidence-based, sustainable projects that align with the Prevention Agenda’s five priority areas to address disease prevention and reduce health disparities, including preventing chronic disease and promoting healthy and safe environments. Projects were selected through a competitive request for proposals. See a full list of the selected organizations and their projects.

“Improving the health of people—and keeping them healthy—requires the collaboration of stakeholders from across a broad spectrum, including the health care delivery system, social service organizations, employers, health insurers, and philanthropy,” says Jacqueline Martinez Garcel, Vice President of NYSHealth. “The Prevention Agenda will get key players working together to create a culture of health and advance policies that make it easier for New Yorkers to make the right choices and live in environments that lead to healthier lives. We are thrilled to play a part by supporting health departments across New York in their efforts to make their communities healthier.”

“The Prevention Agenda establishes a strong course of action, including measurable goals and targeted interventions, to improve public health,” said State Health Commissioner, Nirav R. Shah, M.D., M.P.H. “I commend the county health departments across the State for their work in promoting active collaborations, and demonstrating an unwavering commitment to make New York the healthiest state in the nation.”

The Prevention Agenda offers NYSHealth a timely opportunity to build upon its work in diabetes prevention by helping support initiatives that tackle the root causes of diabetes and other chronic conditions, such as obesity and smoking.

For example, Clinton County—which ranks 45th out of New York’s 62 counties on measures for the social and economic factors that impact health—will work to improve access to and affordability of physical activity and nutritious food for county residents. The NYSHealth grant will be used to increase public transportation routes and ridership to grocery stores and implement a Complete Streets initiative to improve the walkability of communities.

The P2 Collaborative of Western New York will use NYSHealth funds to help the Cattaraugus, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming county health departments address barriers to improving chronic disease prevention, among other goals. Niagara County—which ranks 59th out of 62 New York counties on overall health outcomes—will work with health care providers and employers to increase enrollment and engagement of participants in the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) at community locations. The NDPP is a well-tested community-based program that has been shown to help reduce participants’ risk of developing the disease by 50%.

“The Prevention Agenda is an exciting opportunity to bring together health care, public health, and community leaders to agree on priorities for collaborative action that address the health problems and health disparities that affect their communities” says Jo Ivey Boufford, M.D., President of the New York Academy of Medicine. “These grants will provide critical support to the implementation of programs and policies that will address the broad determinants of these local health problems and contribute to improving the health of all New Yorkers.”

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About the 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, especially the most vulnerable. Today, NYSHealth concentrates its work in three strategic priority areas: expanding health care coverage, improving diabetes prevention, and advancing primary care. The Foundation is committed to making grants, 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 its grantees and partners.

About the New York State Department of Health
The New York State Department of Health is one of the nation’s leading public health agencies, with a budget of more than $58 billion. The Department administers the state's public health insurance programs, which cover 5 million New Yorkers. It also regulates hospitals and other health care facilities, conducts research in a premier biomedical laboratory, and supports public health and prevention initiatives.