Healthy Neighbors Partnership
Upstate Medical University and Syracuse Housing Authority joined forces to establish the Healthy Neighbors Partnership in 2012.
The mission: to build a participatory relationship with residents in public housing in an effort to address health disparities that exist there.
The goal: to foster strategic partnerships and collaborations in a sustainable effort to leverage resources and services that will improve the health and living conditions of residents.
Health promotion, a major component of the Healthy Neighbors Partnership, is carried out through Resident Health Advocate model where residents are trained to educate and advocate with and for their peers. The trained RHA’s work with Upstate Medical health professionals to conduct health surveys, trainings and screenings to improve the health literacy and outcomes for the housing residents.
In 2014 we secured a grant from the Susan G Komen CNY affiliate for $50,000 to establish the “She Matters” pilot program to test the method of using Resident Health Advocates to conduct outreach and education about breast cancer awareness and screening mammography for early cancer detection. The project has proven successful and has secured a second grant to expand its reach to now include Toomey Abbott Towers, Almus Olver towers as well as Pioneer Homes.
Other grant programs:
Healthe Connections LOCAL Impact Grant- chronic disease prevention
We Matters- Colorectal Screening
Other components of HNP include:
Community Garden to promote healthy eating habits/address access to quality, nutritious food
Community Organizing to address health and social concerns as determined by residents
“Sisters Serving Sisters” support group
“Story Time” events to encourage family literacy
Promotion of and engagement with the Tenant Association
The HNP began with its work with the residents in Pioneer Homes due to our proximity to that community. It has recently expanded to include Toomey Abbott Towers and Almus Olver Towers, both located within a five block radius of Upstate Medical.
We currently have 9 RHAs. Four Pioneer Homes residents, three Toomey Abbott Towers and two Almus Olver Towers residents.