NEWS & STORIES
Yonkers, NY, September 3, 2019: Organizations from across the state will come together for the annual Creating Healthy Schools and Communities (CHSC) convening, facilitated by the New York Obesity Prevention Center for Excellence (OPCE) from September 10th–12th. Yonkers is the site chosen to host the 2019 convening as a result of its many healthy living initiatives.
As the CHSC initiative transitions into its final year, this year’s Convening will emphasize sustainability. On Tuesday, September 10th, local leaders and elected officials, including Mayor Mike Spano, State Senator Shelley Mayer, State Assemblyman Nader J. Sayegh, and School Superintendent Dr. Edwin Quezada, will share key insights on working together to strengthen community health and liveability.
CHSC is a five year (2015–2020) public health initiative of the New York State Department of Health which aims to create communities that support healthy behaviors by increasing access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity. Over the last four years, 25 teams working in nearly 250 communities across New York State have been taking part in this initiative, partnering with schools, businesses, government, community-based organizations, and residents to create stronger, healthier, more vibrant communities.
“The Nepperhan Community Center, Inc. (NCC) is proud of the great progress we have made with this grant in the City of Yonkers,” commented Jim Bostic, Executive Director of the NCC. “Our CHSC staff have taken advantage of many opportunities to advance grant goals by promoting access to healthy foods and physical activity in the city of Yonkers. These programs and initiatives are activating residents and making a difference in our community.”
Among these initiatives are adopting a Complete Streets policy to enable safe street access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders of all ages and abilities; revising and adopting the school district’s local wellness policy to establish a school environment that promotes students’ health, well-being, and ability to learn; engaging 33 food retailers to provide access to fresh, healthy food; and working with 32 worksites to support nutrition and physical activity opportunities.
The Living Your Fullest Everyday (LYFE) coalition is a 50 member-organization collaborative led by the Yonkers YMCA and facilitated by Cheryl Brannan, Program Director of the CHSC initiative. Shawyn Patterson Howard, Yonkers YMCA President, and CEO commented, “With the support of the CHSC grant, and our LYFE coalition, residents of Yonkers have seen the city become a healthier place, to live, work, play and pray.”
Glenn Harris, President of the new Race Forward and publisher of Colorlines, will serve as the keynote speaker on Wednesday, September 11th, discussing issues of equity and social justice. Attendees will also have the opportunity to see firsthand the impact of CHSC and the commitment of various Yonkers institutions and organizations by visiting CHSC sites including city schools, city bicycle routes, the YMCA, the Office for the Aging, and Cherry Valley Supermarket.
This year’s Convening will celebrate the CHSC initiative and the 25 grantee organizations who have together developed partnerships, policies, and programs that are improving the health, wellbeing, and economic security of nearly 10 million New Yorkers (and counting).
About the Obesity Prevention Center for Excellence
The New York State Obesity Prevention Center for Excellence (OPCE) is the resource and support center for Creating Healthy Schools and Communities (CHSC) grantee organizations and their community partners. The mission of OPCE is to strengthen the collective impact of CHSC grantees on New Yorkers’ health as they strive to increase access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity. To achieve this mission, OPCE provides training and technical assistance to CHSC grantees and their partners. OPCE is led by JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. (JSI). For more information, visit https://nyopce.com/.