Celebrating 20 Years of Bronx Health REACH
This September, we celebrated the the 20th anniversary of Bronx Health REACH. The Institute launched Bronx Health REACH in 1999 to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes in diabetes and heart disease in African American and Latino communities in the southwest Bronx. Today, the Bronx Health REACH Coalition includes over 80 community-and faith-based organizations, health care providers, and government and social service agencies that have worked on dozens of efforts to make the entire Bronx a healthier place to live, work, learn, pray and play.
To commemorate the 20th Anniversary, our monthly coalition meeting included a panel in which long-time members reflected on the many initiatives Bronx Health REACH has spearheaded since its inception (you can read more about their current efforts here). Joyce Davis, the original faith-based liaison for Bronx Health REACH and a powerful community leader, and Sue Kaplan, a researcher and long-time REACH collaborator, were presented with awards. The REACH program is currently slated to be funded by CDC through 2023, and REACH staff and Coalition members continue to work hard at changing policies, systems and environments that affect community health.
Charmaine Ruddock, MS, REACH’s project director since the program’s inception, was recently named “Health Equity Champion” by CDC’s Office of Minority Health and Health Equity. Leandris C. Liburd, the office’s director, said, “Our Health Equity Champion is one of the pioneers who has contributed significantly to the implementation of REACH and its branding as CDC’s flagship health disparities program. I can personally attest to her tireless commitment to reducing racial and ethnic health disparities in the Bronx and her sustained efforts to support REACH nationally.”
Happy birthday, REACH, and congratulations to Charmaine. The Bronx wouldn’t be the same without you.