East Harlem Community Convener Funds
Building Healthy Communities
December 9, 2020
Through its Building Healthy Communities priority area, NYHealth has supported six communities across the State in implementing neighborhood-level approaches to increase access to healthy, affordable food and to improve the built environment to make physical activity easier.
In each neighborhood, community convener organizations have spearheaded and acted as the main coordinators for the work, assembling and mobilizing partner coalitions to achieve shared goals. As a result of these efforts, nearly half a million New Yorkers in these neighborhoods have better opportunities to lead healthier lives. As this initiative enters its final year of programming, it is vital that community convener grantees and their partners are prepared to grow and sustain their work at the end of the grant cycle. In 2020, NYHealth awarded the Fund for Public Health in New York (FPHNY) a grant to help sustain fresh food access and vibrant public spaces for residents in East Harlem.
Under this grant, FPHNY partnered with the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to work collaboratively with East Harlem residents to ensure they can sustain and expand initiatives to improve physical activity and healthy living in their neighborhood. FPHNY addressed barriers to engagement and participation in community health programs; strengthened opportunities to increase social and racial justice; and ensured that community input is integrated into all plans. Best practices and tools were shared with resident leaders so they can maintain progress and continue advocacy work around community-specific health needs. Successful strategies were shared with other New York City neighborhoods, including Bedford-Stuyvesant and the South Bronx, and local community-based organizations and City agencies.