One Size Doesn’t Fit All: The Need for Local Approaches to Improve Neighborhood Health



Funding Area

Building Healthy Communities


April 24, 2018

Building Healthy Communities

This NYSHealth data brief provides an analysis of the Medicaid population within the six communities of the Foundation’s Building Healthy Communities priority area, specifically looking at demographic makeup as well as patterns in health care utilization and health status.

Three years ago, NYSHealth launched a new priority area, Building Healthy Communities, focused on improving access to healthy, affordable foods and safe places for physical activity in six diverse neighborhoods throughout New York State: Clinton County; Brownsville, Brooklyn; East Harlem, Manhattan; Near Westside, Syracuse; North End, Niagara Falls; and Two Bridges, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

The brief has a particular focus on the Medicaid population within these communities, who often have poorer health outcomes and can benefit greatly from initiatives such as Building Healthy Communities. Although there are core commonalities across the six communities—such as lack of economic security and high levels of poverty and unemployment—there is a great deal of variation in geographic, demographic, and health-related characteristics. The immense diversity of the vulnerable populations in these six communities lends credence to the notion that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to building healthier communities.

1 3 More than one-third of residents have incomes below the federal poverty level in five out of the six communities

Learn more about the key successes, challenges, and lessons learned to date of NYSHealth’s work in the six neighborhoods to create healthier communities in the report “Building Healthy Communities: One Funder’s Place-Based Approach to Help Neighborhoods Transform.”