New York State Health Foundation Healthy Neighborhood Funds Initiative

The Near Westside of Syracuse is one of six communities selected to participate in the New York State Health Foundation’s (NYSHealth) Healthy Neighborhood Funds initiative.  The initiative will provide funding and support for an active collaboration between NYSHealth and the six communities around the state -- also including the City of Niagara Falls, Clinton County, East Harlem and the Lower East Side in Manhattan, and Brownsville in Brooklyn -- to help the communities become healthier, more active places for residents.

The Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School has been selected to receive a two-year grant totaling $250,000 to fund the Near Westside Healthy Neighborhood initiative, a partnership of community agencies led by the Lerner Center and the Near Westside Initiative at Syracuse University, St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center and Nojaim Brothers Supermarket.  Other partners include Cornell Cooperative Extension, The Fitness Inclusion Network, Worktrain, and the City of Syracuse Parks Department.

The goal of the partnership is to work toward transforming the Near Westside of Syracuse into one of the healthiest communities in New York State.  The partnership will work with community residents to marshal resources around improving nutrition and increasing physical activity.

The initiative builds on investments made in the Near Westside over the past several years.  With support from Syracuse University, the State of New York, the City of Syracuse, private foundations, businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and neighborhood residents, the Near Westside Initiative has strengthened the community by fostering economic development, introducing arts, and supporting education while providing rich academic experiences for SU students who help facilitate the programs.  Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield has participated in the effort as well, making an investment in diabetes prevention in the community.  Investments have also been made by St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center and Nojaim Brothers Supermarket to better serve the community’s needs.

This initiative offers an opportunity to build on the resources of the Near Westside, particularly St. Joseph’s Primary Care Center -West and Nojaim Brothers Supermarket, to make a real difference in the health of the community.  We are very happy that NYSHealth Foundation joins us in our work in the Near Westside and are thankful for their investment in our community,” said Rebecca Bostwick, Program Director of the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion.

The Healthy Neighborhood Funds initiative and its impact in Syracuse was also featured in the Post Standard article, "SU gets $250,000 grant to boost health of Syracuse's Near West Side" and in the Daily Orange story, "Local organizations earn grant, team up to improve Near Westside health." 02/02/15