Special Projects Fund

Project Title

CUNY-Community Partnership for Public Health

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Special Projects Fund

Date Awarded

November 15, 2007








Community-based organizations (CBOs) serve an important function in the field of public health, working directly with local populations who otherwise may not have direct access to much-needed services. These connections to vulnerable populations give workers of these organizations a valuable perspective on the true needs of New York City’s neighborhoods. Yet many CBOs face a shortage of financial and human resources, which influences their ability to address effectively and comprehensively community health-related needs. Realizing the need to build the capacity of these CBOs, the City University of New York (CUNY) Institute for Health Equity applied for and received a grant from the New York Health Foundation (NYHealth) to employ the resources of CUNY public health graduate programs to provide CBOs with capacity-building resources.

CUNY is the nation’s largest urban public university with 23 institutions serving 226,000 degree-credit students and 230,000 adult, continuing, and professional education students. This past year, CUNY announced plans to establish a School of Public Health that will build on the three existing CUNY master’s degree programs in public health—based at Brooklyn, Hunter, and Lehman Colleges—and to create a new doctoral program in public health at the CUNY Graduate Center. The Master of Public Health programs require students to conduct a field practicum, and the Doctor of Public Health program requires a field-based leadership development project.

Community-based organizations (CBOs) provide a gamut of important services, but many experience a lack of resources (human, technical, and material) that restrict their ability to meet community health needs. A mutually beneficial partnership will apply the resources of CUNY graduate programs in public health to enhance CBOs’ capacity-building activities. Students from each campus, with faculty and CBO manager supervision, will undertake activities identified by the CBOs to address specific capacity-building needs related to public health or disease prevention. Faculty will provide consultation services and facilitate access to other university resources. Each CBO also will have a resources account to help ensure success.