New York State Health Foundation

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Building Healthy Communities

Building Healthy Communities

Where we live affects our health in multiple and complex ways. In neighborhoods with easy access to nutritious, affordable food; safe and walkable streets; and active playgrounds and public spaces, residents are more likely to have good health outcomes. Residents of neighborhoods without these essentials are more likely to be burdened with high rates of obesity, diabetes, or other chronic illnesses.

A key priority for the New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth) is supporting communities so that New Yorkers of all ages are eating healthy foods, being physically active, and having access to a range of programs that encourage healthy life choices.

To help tackle some of the underlying problems that affect the health of communities, NYSHealth is focused on strategies to improve health in New York neighborhoods by supporting neighborhood-level and policy interventions to increase residents’ access to healthy, affordable food options and opportunities for physical activity.

NYSHealth funds projects in six communities across the State in their efforts to (1) increase access to healthy, affordable food and (2) improve access to safe places where residents can exercise and be active:

Measuring Our Impact

We are currently developing program indicators to help us to track the Foundation’s and our grantees’ progress in our work to build healthy communities. The social indicators are also under development and will help us to understand and track the context of our work, and help us keep the bigger picture in mind when we consider new grant proposals.

View Program Impact View Social Impact
Program Impact: Building Healthy Communities
What we are doing How we measure progress Where we started Where we have been Where we are now What this
means

Increase opportunities for physical activity in communities across New York State through structural changes. 

Number of people reached by improvements in the built environment supported by NYSHealth and its partner foundations will increase by X% by 2020.

[2015 baseline to come early 2016]

Increase access to healthy, affordable food options in communities across New York State through structural changes. 

Number of people reached by improvements in access to healthy, affordable food options supported by NYSHealth and its partner foundations will increase by X% by 2020.

[2015 baseline to come early 2016]

Increase access to physical activity and healthy, affordable food options in communities across New York State through policy changes. 

By the end of 2017, three new public policies are implemented at the regional or state level to advance healthy eating and/or physical activity. 

Scale up and secure sustainable financing for lifestyle modification programs in New York State (e.g., Diabetes Prevention Program). 

By the end of 2016, three more health plans in New York State will reimburse for lifestyle modification programs. 

Scale up and secure sustainable financing for lifestyle behavior modification in New York State (e.g., Diabetes Prevention Program). 

20% of New Yorkers with prediabetes have access to a lifestyle modification program and at least 100,000 New Yorkers with prediabetes have completed a lifestyle modification program by 2020.

Social Context: Building Healthy Communities
How we Measure the Social Context for our Work Where New York Started Where New York Has Been Where New York Is Now

Proportion of adults in New York State who meet federal guidelines for daily physical activity. 

2011: 51.5% of adults participated in 150 minutes or more of aerobic physical activity per week.                                                        

 

Rank among 50 states, with 1 being best: 27th

2013: 47.3% of adults participated in 150 minutes or more of aerobic physical activity per week.                                     

 

Rank among 50 states, with 1 being best: 39th

N/A

Proportion of adults who consume fruits and vegetables one or more times per day. 

2013: 65.6% of adults consumed fruit one or more times per day.                                       

 

Rank among 50 states, with 1 being best: 27th

2013: 65.6% of adults consumed fruit one or more times per day.                                       

 

Rank among 50 states, with 1 being best: 27th

N/A