Building Healthy Communities Conference Scholarship
July 6, 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 July 2016, NYSHealth awarded Niagara County Department of Health (NCDH) a grant to participate in this initiative.
With NYSHealth funding, NCDH sent two staff members to attend the National Association for County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) Annual Conference 2016, the largest gathering of local health departments in the United States. The 2016 conference theme was “Cultivating a Culture of Health Equity.” Conference participants were expected to learn and share insights on effective public health strategies, develop tools to explore health inequities, and promote community partnerships. The conference taught NCDH staff members about building support for eliminating health inequities and increasing awareness for public health practice, including how to use health education, health promotion, and communication strategies to support communities in healthy living while reducing health risks. Information learned from the conference may be used to inform policy development in Niagara County and be used to advocate for community collaboration.