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 a grant to the Clinton County Health Department (CCHD) to help continue and build on improvements to the local food and built environments in the region.
Under this grant, CCHD worked closely with local municipalities to either establish or strengthen commitments to building healthy, active communities. It helped them develop comprehensive plans to support complete streets policies and other redesign efforts of public spaces to support healthy living. CCHD continued to cultivate partnerships with local businesses, civic spaces, schools, community-based organizations, and other stakeholders to conceive of and implement community health improvement projects such as revised crosswalks, connections for safe active transportation, and new park spaces. CCHD also expanded its work with locally owned businesses, restaurants, and food outlets to grow its healthy food programs that promote nutrition and food safety standards to help residents identify and select healthy eating options. It provided technical assistance to food retailers on how to offer point-of-decision prompts and other information to customers. Residents of Clinton County were also engaged to help reimagine their community spaces and become more involved in transformation efforts.