Sustaining a Healthy Community in East Harlem
Building Healthy Communities
January 22, 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 TYTHEdesign a grant to support the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) in sustaining opportunities for safe and healthy physical activity in East Harlem.
Under this grant, TYTHEdesign assisted DOHMH in strengthening current projects and programming focused on healthy living in the East Harlem community. It developed and shared tools, materials, and other resources to help residents and neighborhood partners build their capacity to maintain community initiatives. TYTHEdesign created a health action toolkit to share best practices with East Harlem residents for advocating for continued policy change, as well as be a guide to help other communities adopt successful strategies. It also helped build out a community engagement almanac with DOHMH that offers guidelines and case studies for the community to stay engaged in biking, walking, and other local health projects. Finally, it developed resources to help local government agencies and community-based organizations address common challenges to sustaining community engagement and advancing policy changes in support of healthy neighborhoods.