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Neighborhoods without fresh food stores, schools without playgrounds, unsafe housing, and polluted air all make good health a daily challenge for millions of city dwellers. NYAM works in partnership with local, state and national public health and community leaders to tackle the root causes of avoidable illness, disability, and death. Our work includes community-based programs and state and national policy advocacy. We place a special priority on our own East Harlem community.
NYAM's work to engage community members is enhanced by our varied partnerships. With funding from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), the DASH-NY Policy Center and Coalition engages multiple state and community sectors in the fight to end the epidemic of obesity in New York State, working to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to healthy food and opportunities for physical activity. DASH-NY offers community leaders training and technical assistance on how to make policy changes that will help prevent obesity. NYAM is also working with the NYSDOH on the New York State Prevention Agenda, an initiative that identifies statewide public health priorities and asks communities to work together with the Department and other providers to achieve measurable goals.
NYAM’s community-based participatory research provides critical evidence for the effectiveness of preventive interventions, both on individual behavior and on creating change in the environments of communities that make it easier for people to make healthy choices and address the “upstream” causes of chronic disease including neighborhood conditions, access to healthy food and safe recreation, and socioeconomic status. The national health care reform law passed in 2010 represents a paradigm shift in the focus of U.S. health policy, with unprecedented policy and financial incentives to support personal and community-based prevention. This shift would not have been possible without the accumulating evidence of researchers like those here at NYAM.
NYAM encourages healthy lifestyle choices in schools through multidisciplinary programs that incorporate curriculum development, parent workshops, staff training and student activities. Through Healthy Eating Active Living: A School and Community Initiative, NYAM has worked with teachers and administrators in East Harlem and Bronx public schools to establish environments and habits that promote improved nutrition and increased physical activity. NYAM’s award-winning skin health curriculum, The Wonders of Skin: Looking Good, Being Healthy, developed in partnership with the American Skin Association, has been disseminated nationally, reaching more than 5.6 million K-12 students throughout the United States. NYAM has also trained staff at United Neighborhood Houses member agencies across the city who work with teens to promote healthy eating and physical activity, healthy sexuality, and mental and emotional health.
Dr. Boufford recently joined Dr. Caplan on his new program, Medscape Close-up, to discuss the Affordable Care Act and its effects on physicans.
The New York State Health Foundation awarded NYAM a $400,000 grant to provide technical assistance to local health departments across the state in implementing the New York State Prevention Agenda. The Prevention Agenda 2013-17 is the blueprint for state and local action to improve the health of New Yorkers in five priority areas, reduce avoidable illness in communities, and reduce health disparities.