Healthy Neighbors Partnership

In 2010, the Healthy Neighbors Partnership, was formed between Upstate Medical University, Syracuse Housing AuthorityExternal Icon, and the Pioneer Homes Tenant Association. The purpose of this strategic partnership is to foster collaborations in a sustainable effort to leverage resources and services that will improve the health and living conditions of residents of Pioneer Homes.

The partnership represents an important opportunity for Upstate to collaborate with its nearest neighbors. Through this partnership, Upstate is supporting healthy living and quality of life goals that are identified and driven by the residents of Pioneer Homes.  Pioneer Homes provides 578 subsidized, multifamily apartments for 1,194 people.

One of the initiatives that has come out of this partnership is the Resident Health Advocate (RHA) Program, which teaches residents key skills to lead healthier lives and help fellow residents do the same. In 2014, Upstate professionals and other community leaders, in areas such as cancer and asthma prevention, physical activity, sexual health, smoking cessation and more, trained the first cohort of RHAs. RHAs are trained to do health outreach and education in their public housing complex. The program had a 100% graduation rate. Through this opportunity, many of the RHAs were able to secure full-time employment in such positions as charge nurse, kitchen manager, security officer and others.

Other programs sponsored by HNP include:

  • Community Gardening
  • She Matters (Mammography screening program)
  • Sister Serving Sisters (Breast Cancer Support Group)
  • Story Time (Reading Program for children and young adults)

For more information on the Healthy Neighbors Partnership, please contact Aldrine Ashong-Katai (AshongKA@upstate.edu) or Constance Gregory (GregoryC@upstate.edu) (Office of Diversity and Inclusion) or Simone Seward (SewardS@upstate.edu) (Center for Civic Engagement).

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