Institute for Family Health Receives $765,000 Grant…

Institute for Family Health Receives $765,000 Grant from NYS Department of Health to Promote Healthier School Environments in the Bronx


New York, NY (June 1, 2010) — The Institute for Family Health today received a $765,000 grant  to promote healthy environments in Bronx public schools for five years.

Dr. Neil Calman, the Institute’s president and CEO, said, “The Institute has operated primary care centers in the Bronx for the past 25 years, and our Bronx Health REACH program has been addressing disparities in Bronx residents’ health outcomes for the past ten years. With this funding, the Institute will support Bronx schools to help build healthier school environments by promoting healthful eating and physical activity and discouraging tobacco use. 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 Bronx Health REACH/Healthy Hearts program, a school-based program operated by the Institute from 2003-2009.   Healthy Hearts staff worked with School Wellness Councils comprised of parents, teachers, and school administrators to help schools increase access to healthy food and physical activity. The group was instrumental in the Department of Education’s decision to eliminate whole milk from school cafeterias in 2005.

Charmaine Ruddock, the project director of Bronx Health REACH, who will oversee the new project, said, “With these funds, we will work with as many as 75 high-need Bronx public schools to strengthen school policies related to tobacco, nutrition, and physical activity. Healthy school environments encourage healthy behaviors, which children bring home to their families.”

Commissioner of Health Richard Daines announced the awards in a May 24th press release, saying, “It is essential that children develop healthy habits while they are young. Schools can supplement the healthy living behaviors students learn at home.”

Nineteen grant awards were made in New York State including one other award in New York City to the Fund for Public Health in New York, which will serve Brooklyn schools.