Building Healthy Communities



Funding Area

Building Healthy Communities


April 24, 2018


This NYHealth report takes a look at the key successes, challenges, and lessons learned to date of the Foundation’s work in six neighborhoods across New York State to create healthier communities.

Three years ago, NYHealth launched a new priority area, Building Healthy Communities, focused on improving access to healthy, affordable foods and safe places for physical activity in six diverse neighborhoods throughout New York State: Clinton County; Brownsville, Brooklyn; East Harlem, Manhattan; Near Westside, Syracuse; North End, Niagara Falls; and Two Bridges, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. NYHealth grantees are partnering with community-based organizations, government agencies, local businesses, advocacy groups, additional funders, and other stakeholders on a range of efforts to empower residents to lead healthier, more active lives. Place-based investments take time to yield long-lasting, sustainable results, but the accomplishments, challenges, and lessons learned over the first few years can inform approaches to improving community health.

The report documents NYHealth’s approach to develop the new priority area; identify targeted neighborhoods, partners, and grantees; adapt and adjust its work over time; and assess its progress and impact. It also spotlights accomplishments and challenges of the first three years of NYHealth’s work in this area. Evaluation efforts and results to date in this place-based investment are highlighted, along with technical assistance activities to further support the neighborhoods in achieving their goals. The report concludes with a look ahead at next steps for community transformation in these six neighborhoods, as NYHealth has reauthorized its commitment to this initiative for an additional three years through 2020.

500 k Number of New Yorkers represented in the six Building Healthy Communities neighborhoods
$ 181 M The amount of additional funding leveraged at the close of this initiative’s first three years

Learn more about the commonalities and differences of the six communities that are part of this initiative in the data brief “One Size Doesn’t Fit All: The Need for Local Approaches to Improve Neighborhood Health.”