Building Healthy Communities

Project Title

Evaluation of the New York State Healthy Neighborhoods Fund Initiative

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Building Healthy Communities

Date Awarded

May 15, 2015






To tackle some of the underlying problems that have affected the health of communities, NYHealth launched the Healthy Neighborhoods Fund initiative to help New York State communities become healthier and more active places.

Through the Healthy Neighborhoods Fund, NYHealth is investing $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. NYHealth awarded New York University (NYU) School of Medicine a grant to evaluate the impact of this initiative.

Under this grant, NYU assessed changes in healthy, affordable food access, improvements in the built environment, and linkages to programs that support lifestyle change that result from NYHealth’s Healthy Neighborhoods Fund initiative. Specifically, NYU collected baseline date that focused on actual outcomes at the population level in each neighborhood (e.g., percentage of residents actually purchasing and eating healthy foods). NYU undertook a process evaluation, analyzing the efficacy of partnerships, collaborations, communications, and cross-agency work, to understand how these changes came about in the neighborhoods. NYU worked actively with the Healthy Neighborhoods Fund grantees to help them achieve maximum success. To share the findings of this evaluation, NYU produced reports for the Foundation, grantees, and peer-reviewed journals.

In 2018, NYHealth awarded NYU a second grant to further evaluate the impact of the Foundation’s investment in its Healthy Neighborhoods Fund initiative.