Institute for Family Health/Bronx Health REACH Receives $1,250,000 Grant from NYS Department of Health to Promote Healthier School Environments and Communities in the Bronx

June 03, 2015

New York, NY (June 3, 2015) – The Institute for Family Health received a $1,250,000 grant to promote healthy environments in Bronx public schools and communities for the next five years, through New York State’s Healthy Schools and Communities program.

Dr. Neil Calman, the Institute’s president and CEO, said, “The Institute’s Bronx Health REACH program has been addressing disparities in Bronx residents’ health outcomes for over fifteen years. With this funding, the Institute will continue to support Bronx schools and communities to help build healthier environments by promoting healthful eating and physical activity. So many Bronx children are overweight or obese – almost one in four – and we are already seeing the negative effects in increased cases of diabetes.”

The new program builds on the success of the Healthy Schools New York program, a school-based program operated by the Institute from 2010-2015. Healthy Schools staff worked with School Wellness Councils comprised of parents, teachers, and school administrators at 22 schools to help schools increase access to healthy food and physical activity. This new grant allows the Institute to sustain these efforts while expanding activities to two additional high-need school districts in the Bronx. In addition, the Institute will begin implementing community-wide efforts related to small food retail, food procurement and Complete Streets, to ensure safe access for all road users.

Charmaine Ruddock, the project director of Bronx Health REACH, who will oversee the new project, said, “We’re delighted that this funding will continue, and will now foster community-level change in addition to the many improvements we’ve achieved in Bronx schools. We look forward to continuing to work with our many community partners to improve the health of the Bronx. ” The Healthy Schools and Communities program is set to begin in October 2015.