Building Healthy Communities Conference Scholarship
September 20, 2016
A key goal of NYSHealth’s Building Healthy Communities priority area is to create healthy communities that lead to more New Yorkers of all ages eating healthy foods, being physically active, and having access to a range of programs that encourage healthy life choices.
Many organizations across the State are doing smart, innovative work that is relevant to NYSHealth’s work to improve health in New York neighborhoods. These organizations should be elevating their work and informing key stakeholders at conferences and other convenings in New York and nationally. Yet, because of a lack of resources, they are often unable to do so. To address this issue, NYSHealth awarded grants through its Sponsoring Conference Participation in Support of Healthy Communities Request for Proposals (RFP). Through this RFP, NYSHealth sponsored community-based organizations, health departments, and other low-resource organizations to attend and present at local, State, and national conferences related to building healthy communities. In 2016, NYSHealth awarded Coalition for Asian American Children and Families (CACF) a grant to participate in this initiative.
With NYSHealth funding, CACF sent one staff member to attend the American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting and Expo hosted in Denver, Colorado. The 2016 conference theme was “Creating the Healthiest Nation: Ensuring the Right to Health” and centered on minority health and social determinants of health. Attendance at the APHA conference supported CACF’s work related to building healthy communities by providing a chance to (1) expand its network of public health professionals exploring physical infrastructure as a health determinant and (2) learn relevant case studies and communications and policy strategies. Information learned from the conference supported the creation of a communications plan for CACF’s project, Increasing Children’s Physical Activity and Transforming Neighborhoods, which aims to increase physical activity and fitness for Asian Pacific-American children living in New York City. In addition, CACF gave a poster and roundtable presentation on a study, conducted in partnership with the University of Albany, on the importance of health behaviors, such as healthy eating and active living, within Asian Pacific-American communities. By attending the APHA conference, CACF aimed to highlight the experiences of Asian Pacific-American New Yorkers who are inadequately represented in the national conversation on health equity and the built environment.