Current Grant-Funded Programs
Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH)
Bronx Health REACH was formed in 1999 with the receipt of a REACH 2010 planning grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The decision to apply for CDC funding grew from a decades-long commitment by the Institute for Family Health, a federally qualified community health center network based in New York City, to address health inequities in underserved minority communities, and from its own internal examination of organizational diversity issues begun a few years earlier by its senior managers. The initial coalition was formed by the Institute, and its community-based partners- the Mount Hope Housing Company, the St. Edmund Church, and the Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation. In 1999, during the planning year, ten focus groups of community members examined data about racial disparities, and described what they believed to be the reasons for these disparities. These discussions resulted in a Community Action Plan and the Coalition was awarded a seven year implementation grant from CDC. During the planning process, the Coalition expanded to include faith-based organizations from various denominations, and both Latino and African-American community groups. By 2000, the Bronx Health REACH Coalition was formed, with the expressly articulated mission of “eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes by creating a movement … to increase awareness of racial, ethnic, gender and other disparities in how health care is delivered… and serve as a national model of community empowerment…” In 2007, CDC designated the Institute for Family Health and the Bronx Health REACH Coalition a national Center of Excellence for the Elimination of Disparities (CEED). As a result the Bronx Health REACH program now supports projects throughout New York City and State, as well as projects in Virginia and North Carolina. Over the years, the coalition has grown from five to over 70 organizations, and sponsors a wide range of health promotion activities focused on nutrition and fitness education, as well as efforts geared toward diabetes prevention and management. Bronx Health REACH also sponsors workshops designed to help community members understand the health care system and the impact of disparities in access and treatment. The coalition’s initiatives involve community and faith-based groups, schools, restaurants, grocers and more – relying heavily on a community based participatory approach that involves community members in all aspects of decision making, including planning, implementation and evaluation.
National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD)
In 2005, the Institute received research funds from the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities to determine the impact of its faith-based initiative. The goal of the “Bronx Faith-based Initiative to Eliminate Racial Disparities in Health” was to assess the strengths and limitations of the Initiative and to develop a model program that can be implemented in other faith-based settings. In 2008, the Institute received a five year award to implement a full research study. The “Bronx Faith-Based Initiative for Health Equity” study seeks to evaluate the impact of a faith-based intervention to improve health and health care of community members at risk for diabetes and related cardiovascular disease. The intervention represents best practices identified during the planning phase of this project, and adapts these for a bicultural community. It will identify, evaluate changes in knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors, assess the impact of the program on church programs and policies, and identify key elements of a bilingual, bicultural program to address health disparities. Read more about the Faith-Based Outreach Initiative here.
Johnson & Johnson Obesity Prevention Grant
In 2010, the Johnson and Johnson / Johns Hopkins Community Health Care Scholars Program awarded Bronx Health REACH a grant for a childhood obesity prevention program. This grant enables Bronx Health REACH to expand its work in the schools by helping teachers increase their capacity to teach food and nutrition education in the classroom setting. A Bronx Health REACH Health Educator works with teachers through a train-the-trainer model to deliver a curriculum incorporating food and nutrition education, media literacy, and physical activity. This curriculum will be integrated into already existing classes such as science, math, English, and health education, and will work towards achieving NYC education standards. In addition, through our partnership with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, we will be collecting data on the successes of the obesity prevention program to disseminate nationally. Read more about obesity prevention in schools here.
New York State Department of Health
Healthy Schools NY is a five-year grant funded by the NYS Department of Health’s Division of Chronic Disease Services designed to help District 7 and 9 public schools in NYC build and sustain an environment that makes healthy eating, physical fitness, and tobacco control a daily priority. The program will create or work with existing school wellness councils to implement and maintain effective policies that promote good health in the school community. This work will help inform and drive district-wide, and eventually, city-wide school wellness policies, building on Bronx Health REACH’s prior success working with Department of Education leaders and other stakeholders to remove whole milk from the NYC school food menu. This program seeks to rekindle those former partnerships and establish new ones to further the work of obesity prevention and tobacco control in South Bronx public schools. Read more about Healthy Schools NY here.
Community Transformation Grant
In March 2012, Bronx Health REACH was selected as the Borough Lead Organization by the Partnership for a Healthier New York City (the Partnership).The Partnership is a newly formed nonprofit funded through a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Community Transformation Grant (CTG) received by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. This CTG is one of only 36 grants awarded nation-wide.
Community Transformation Grants support community-level efforts to reduce chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes by promoting healthy lifestyles, especially among population groups experiencing the greatest burden of chronic disease. As the Borough Lead Organization, the Bronx Health REACH Coalition led by the Institute for Family Health works with the Partnership and community-based organizations to develop and implement environmental, infrastructure and systems changes around healthy eating, active living, alcohol and tobacco in the Bronx.
Bronx Health REACH is grateful to the following organizations for supporting our work to eliminate disparities in health outcomes in underserved communities.