East Harlem Healthy Neighborhoods Initiative
Building Healthy Communities
February 9, 2015
Growing evidence shows that our ZIP code has a greater impact on our health than our genetic code. The neighborhoods in which people live—where family members play, study, work, and worship—affect health in multiple and complex ways.
Good health outcomes are more prevalent in neighborhoods where people have easy access to nutritious, affordable food; safe and walkable streets; and active playgrounds and public spaces. Living in neighborhoods without these essentials, residents are more likely to be burdened with high rates of obesity, diabetes, or other chronic illnesses. To tackle some of the underlying problems that have affected the health of communities, NYSHealth launched the Healthy Neighborhoods Fund initiative to help New York State communities become healthier and more active places. Through the Healthy Neighborhoods Fund, NYSHealth invested $2 million over two years to support six communities across the State in their efforts to increase access to healthy, affordable food; improve access to safe places where residents can exercise and be active; and connect children and adults to programs that support healthy behaviors. NYSHealth awarded Fund for Public Health in New York (the Fund) a grant to participate in this initiative.
Under this grant, the Fund partnered with the New York Academy of Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, and the New York City Department of City Planning to work in East Harlem. Through a process that engaged all community stakeholders including residents, leaders, and City agencies the partners worked to increase access to healthy foods and decrease the availability and promotion of sugar-sweetened beverages; and to improve the safety of and access to open spaces.
In 2017, NYSHealth awarded the Fund a grant to continue its participation in the initiative.
Learn more about East Harlem and efforts to improve the health of residents.