Institute Receives Johnson & Johnson Grant to Launch Childhood Obesity Prevention Program in the Bronx

August 17, 2010

Bronx, NY (August 17, 2010) — The Institute for Family Health will receive a $200,000 Johnson & Johnson Community Health Care Program Award to implement an education program in Bronx schools. The project is the only one funded by Johnson & Johnson in New York State, and will support direct education to prevent obesity in school-age Bronx children.

“Nearly one in four Bronx school children are overweight or obese,” said Charmaine Ruddock, the Institute’s Bronx Health REACH Program Director, who will oversee the project. “Black and Latino children are more likely to experience obesity or overweight, and therefore be at risk for health problems later in life.  At the Institute for Family Health’s five community health centers in the Bronx, we are already seeing the negative effects in increased cases of diabetes.”

The Institute’s Johnson & Johnson-funded education project will use a community-based participatory approach involving school personnel, parents and public health professionals. The project will run in parallel to the Institute’s New York State-funded school wellness program, so that changes in health behaviors will be supported by a healthy school environment.  The project is expected to reach 1,200-1,800 at-risk children in the Bronx.

Institute president & CEO Dr. Neil Calman said, “Some of the most important ‘health care’ we provide happens outside our clinic walls. The Institute is known not only for its excellent clinical services, but also for its effective community health promotion programs. The Johnson & Johnson funding will allow us to redouble our efforts promoting health in schools.”

“The goal of the Johnson & Johnson Community Health Care Program is to provide support and resources for community/public health initiatives that positively impact the access and delivery of quality health care services for medically underserved populations, through partnership with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health,” said Johnson & Johnson in a statement.

The Institute for Family Health was one of only eight organizations in the country to receive a Johnson & Johnson Community Health Care Program Award.