Building Healthy Communities

Project Title

University Settlement “Stay Healthy at Home” Project

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Building Healthy Communities

Date Awarded

March 26, 2021






Through its Building Healthy Communities priority area, NYHealth has supported neighborhood-level approaches to improve access to healthy, affordable food and to activate spaces to encourage more physical activity.

To sustain the progress that has been made in these communities, it is important that neighborhood grantees have the tools and capacity they need to maintain and expand their initiatives and goals. Grantees have expressed a particular need for support in advocating for local policy change and solutions and effectively communicating their wins, goals, needs, and value. Strengthening these efforts will help ensure the long-term sustainability of the achievements and place-based work in each neighborhood. In 2021, NYHealth awarded Betty&Smith a grant to provide University Settlement with communications support for a campaign to improve the health of older adults on the Lower East Side.

Under this grant, Betty&Smith partnered with University Settlement to develop the “Stay Healthy at Home” campaign, focusing on the physical and mental health of older adults in the community. It created culturally tailored communication materials, informed by conversations with and insights from residents, community leaders, and other stakeholders. Betty&Smith helped University Settlement and community organizations customize messaging that resonated with older adult communities, including exercise and healthy eating tips, COVID-19 vaccination information, ideas for virtual connection, and mental health resources. Posters, postcards, and flyers were developed for both English and non-English speakers about these resources. Following the campaign’s launch, Betty&Smith set up check-ins and metric-gathering opportunities to see which materials were most effective and valuable for older adult communities and helped University Settlement adjust them as needed.