2010 - 2013 Grantees
African Family Health Organization (AFAHO)
AFAHO is the only community-based organization in the greater Philadelphia area focused on the health and obesity prevention of the African and Caribbean immigrant and refugee population. With several years’ experience creating and delivering culturally and linguistically competent prevention education and health information services to their target populations.
Established in 2003 to address the needs of underserved African and Caribbean immigrants and refugees (ACIR) in the greater Philadelphia, AFAHO has been serving these communities and been at the forefront of developing creative and culturally-appropriate programs to address their needs. working to assist their target populations in eliminating barriers to service delivery and in accessing quality medical and preventive health services; ultimately improving their healthcare outcomes.
Philadelphia is home to over 200,000 African and Caribbean immigrants. AFAHO has found, through community needs assessments that the beliefs and health related activities of ACIR women adversely affects and inspires the healthy or unhealthy activities of their children. These immigrant and refugee populations have an immense need in the area of obesity prevention, but these needs are largely unaddressed. 27% of low-income children between two and five years of age in Pennsylvania are overweight or at risk of becoming overweight. (CDC PedNSS, 2002) Also, according to the American Community Survey of 2006-2008, 23% of residents had an income below poverty level and 28% of families with children under 18 years had an income below poverty level. 58% of the clients accessing our services report an income below the poverty level. Findings emphasize the need for aggressive overweight and obesity prevention programs tailored to immigrant youth in the United States.
Albert Einstein Healthcare Network
Albert Einstein Healthcare Network (AEHN) is a private, non-profit, multi-facility healthcare in Pennsylvania offering a wide array of healthcare programs and services. Albert Einstein Medical Center (AEMC), the flagship hospital of AEHN, provides comprehensive medical services to more than 330, 000 residents living in multicultural, inner city neighborhoods where 78,000 people (22%) live below the poverty level and are plagued with high levels of unemployment. AEHN is partnering with ASPIRA, a non-profit organization working to strengthen the Latino culture, to implement FUN & Fit through PLAY, a program designed to teach and strengthen the knowledge and skills families can use to develop and maintain behaviors that help retain a healthy weight through diet, physical activity, nutrition counseling, and child-parent activities. According to Public Health Management Corporation's Community Health Data Base (CHDB) 2008 Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey, over half of Hispanic children in the area are at risk for obesity. CHDB reports 64.5% of children do not exercise daily nor do over half participate in any organized after-school activity. According to US Census 2000 data (Census), the population of the target area is 125,956 with 30% of Hispanic origin, a population of more than 35,000. In this community, only 60% of those 25 and older have a high school degree, far below the national average of 80%. Furthermore, 51% of the Hispanic children in the area live below the federal poverty level, where 72.5% of the families make less than $25,000/year and over 84% make less than $50,000 (CHDB). According to CHDB, 27.5 % of all children in the area are obese and the prevalence is even higher among Hispanic children (30.3%). CHDB also reports 64.5% of these children do not exercise daily, half do not participate in any organized after-school activity, and 95% eat less than the five recommended servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Moreover, 34.4% of adults rated the groceries in the area as fair or poor, three times greater than the rate in all of Southeastern PA. FUN & Fit through PLAY will offer child and family counseling with a dietitian and family resource coordinator. After-school and summer camp programming consisting of culturally tailored and age appropriate FUN workshop sessions integrating nutrition information and physical activity will be provided. Parent-Child Workshops to impact families as a unit and foster opportunity to learn with and from other families in their community will also be included.
Congreso de Latinos Unidos, Inc.
Congreso De Latinos Unidos, Inc has been providing quality services to the Latino community in Eastern North Philadelphia since 1977. This is a community with over 75% of residents at 200% of the federal poverty level. In 2009 Congreso served nearly 17,000 individuals, 6,000 of them in their Health Promotion and Wellness (HPW) Division. While continuing their current cadre of services HPW will now offer their Healthy School Healthy Kids program at Philadelphia’s Pan American Academy Charter School, with a program goal of reducing the prevalence of obesity at the school.
In the 2007 Philadelphia Youth Risks Behavior survey, only 35% of students were required to take two or more health education classes, 69% did not meet recommended levels of physical activity, and 76% did not attend physical education classes daily. According to the National Council of La Raza, 2006 more than one in six (16.8%) Hispanic high school students were overweight. An additional 16.7% of Hispanic high school youth are at risk of becoming overweight. Disparities in these rates stem from a variety of factors, including diets high in carbohydrates and saturated fats, high consumption of fast foods, and limited exercise related to school and community conditions.
The Healthy School Healthy Kid program involves close partnering with a Philadelphia District School, with support from Temple University’s Department of Nursing and the National Nursing Centers Consortium (NNCC), each committed to reducing the incidence of childhood obesity, increasing activity and improving knowledge and nutrition among the students at Pan American Academy Charter School.
The Institute for Family Health
The Institute for Family Health is a federally qualified community health center network, founded in 1983, dedicated to developing innovative ways to provide primary health services to medically underserved populations. The Institute operates 15 full-time health centers and nine part-time practices in New York State, including five in the Bronx. Since 1999, the Institute has led Bronx Health REACH, a coalition comprising more than 75 community- and faith-based organizations dedicated to eliminating racial disparities in obesity, diabetes and heart disease. REACH develops and implements community-led nutrition, fitness, and advocacy initiatives in faith-based settings, schools, after-school programs, corner stores and restaurants in the Bronx. The Institute for Family Health will expand these obesity prevention efforts by implementing and evaluating an evidence-based community education program targeting public school children ages 6-12 in low-income Bronx neighborhoods, the poorest urban county in the United States and home to 1.4 million people, a majority of whom are African American and Latino. In the county, 28% of residents report an income below the poverty level and 40% of children are living below the poverty level. New York City children, as compared to the national population, are more likely to be obese (21% vs. 17%) and overweight (18% vs. 14%). Nearly 31% of children in Head Start programs (ages 2-4) in the South Bronx are obese and almost 50% are overweight. The prevalence of obesity among public high school students – with 17% obese and 38% overweight or obese – is also higher in the South Bronx than in the city as a whole. The REACH Obesity Prevention Program will use a community-based participatory approach involving school personnel, parents and public health professionals. A project Advisory Group will be formed, evidence-based obesity prevention interventions will be adapted for Bronx elementary schools, and a “train-the-trainer” model will be utilized to encourage classroom teachers and principals to permanently adopt the program. The educational intervention will run in parallel to the Institute’s New York State-funded effort to strengthen school policies related to nutrition and physical activity. Program benefits will reach approximately 60 public school classrooms, translating to 1,200-1,800 at-risk children in the Bronx. Project findings will be disseminated to city- and state- decision-makers and others to encourage wide adoption of successful practices.
Sources: U.S. Census, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, New York City Department of Health.
Joy-Southfield Community Development Corporation (JSCDC)
Joy-Southfield Community Development Corporation (JSCDC) provides free primary and preventive health care to uninsured, low-income families in west-side Detroit. The vast majority (84%) of JSCDC free clinic patients reside in low-income households (< $2000/month) and 14% are in moderate-income households (< $4000/month). Thirty-two percent of JSCDC uninsured free clinic patients have jobs. The majority of patients are African American (85%), 10% are European American, 2% Asian American and 3% other ethnic groups. Approximately 550,000 Detroit residents, over half of all residents, are defined as living in a "food desert," an area with inadequate access to nutritious foods. The maldistribution of supermarkets in Detroit disproportionately affects African- Americans residents, living on average 1.1 miles further from a supermarket than white residents (Zenk et al. 2005. Am. J. Public Health 95: 660-667). Nationally, the adverse health effects of childhood obesity are well documented. The childhood obesity risk is even greater within the JSCDC service area due to food deserts and recreational voids. In response, JSCDC will implement Healthy Empowered Youth in Detroit (HEY Detroit) - a comprehensive, coordinated, and collaborative program designed to reduce childhood obesity incidence by 3% during 2 ½ years. Program partners Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Michigan Department of Community Health, Dixon Elementary School (K-8), Greening of Detroit, and Detroit Eastern Market will assist JSCDC in delivering an evidence-based childhood obesity intervention and increase access to affordable, healthy food and safe recreational facilities. A youth-led community gardening and farmer’s market program will educate and empower youth, while also providing outdoor exercise and entrepreneurial experience. HEY Detroit will supplement current JSCDC childhood obesity educational programming and expand to community environment interventions, including a focus on healthy food access and fostering better home environments. Pre/post BMI, nutritional knowledge, and behavioral assessments will be monitored and results will be disseminated.
The Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering (MASE)
MASE opened its doors in 2003 and is Tennessee's first and oldest charter school. Through the funding provided by Johnson & Johnson Community Health Care program MASE seeks to develop and implement a physician-led, structured, school-based weight management program for their 6th grade students and their families that can be replicated by other schools. During the 2009-2010 school year, MASE served 725 students in grades 6-12. While the extent of the childhood obesity problem in MASE's 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 6th grade classes has not yet been determined it is anticipated that the childhood obesity statistics for MASE's target population will be reflective of the obesity statistics for Memphis, where according to information gathered from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2009 Online High School (grades 9-12) Youth Risky Behavior Survey, 18.7% of responding high school students in Memphis reported being overweight (above the 85th percentile for body mass index (BMI) by age and sex, based on reference data). 15.8% of responding high school students across the nation reported being overweight. 16.8% of responding high school students in Memphis reported being obese (above the 95th percentile for BMI by age and sex, based on reference data. 12% of responding high school students across the nation reported being obese. Through partnering with existing programs MASE’s dedicated staff will implement a weight management program an evening exercise and nutrition class , provide Certified Diabetes Educators (CDE) training to staff and start a Garden Club to educate students and parents about growing nutritious produce.
United Health Organization (UHO)
UHO has conducted a mass health screening initiative called Project Health Living for over 40 years. They have provided over a million free and low cost tests including height and weight, blood pressure, vision, body composition, pulmonary function, blood profiles, hearing, dental, pap smears and numerous other screenings. PHL provides health screenings at over 40 locations in the nine counties of Southeast Michigan. Funding from the Johnson & Johnson Community Health Care Program will allow UHO to extend their service reach to the Brightmoor and Bethune communities of Northwest Detroit. Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) reported that in 2010 Michigan ranked third worst for obesity, has been among the ten heaviest states for the past 14 years and that 70 percent of Detroiters are obese or overweight. The Brightmoor and Bethune communities are two of the lowest economic communities in Michigan with a large number of at-risk children. The goal of UHO is to reduce childhood obesity by enhancing healthy eating and increased physical activity among youth and their families in the targeted areas. Through collaborations with Rosedale Park and St. Olaf churches (anchor churches within the community) UHO will educate parents and caregivers, provide healthy foods, play and exercise areas for youth and pre and post health screenings.
The Youth Connection
The Youth Connection (TYC) has served the city of Detroit (Wayne County) for over 14 years by working to increase participation in after-school programs while improving the quality and quantity of those programs. Furthermore, TYC provides resources and training for after-school program providers to highlight healthy eating and increased exercise in addition to increasing the number of after-school programs and faith-based organizations that provide nutritious meals to youth through the federally-funded programs. The service area of TYC, Detroit, has only 40 grocery stores and most residents live twice as far from the nearest supermarket than from a fast food restaurant. Consequentially, 78% report a lower than recommended intake of fruits and vegetables. In combination with 57% of Detroit residents reporting inadequate physical activity, the risk factors have contributed to 70% of Detroiters being obese or overweight (Michigan Department of Community Health). According to the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of obesity in children ages 6-11 went from 6.5% in 1980 to nearly 20% in 2008. In an effort to deter these trends, TYC will increase services to the Osborn community, home to 37,000 residents and over 14,000 individuals under the age of 18. Osborn is not considered a safe and “walk-able” community and has few parks and fewer supermarkets. In Osborn, TYC will implement Community Connection: I2-D2 Campaign, aiming to increase physical activity and fruit and vegetable intake (known as the I2 component), as well as decrease intake of sweetened beverages and screen time (known as the D2 component). TYC will create a “Healthy and Fit” marketing and education campaign in the Osborn community targeting students 6-12 years of age and their parents, elementary schools, after-school providers, churches, community advocates, and local businesses modeled after evidence-based interventions “5210 Every Day” and “ReCharge!” An advisory committee will provide guidance and assist with community engagement.