CUNY SPH Receives Grant to Study Community Health Workers in Harlem

September 17, 2015 | Press Releases & Announcements

The CUNY School of Public Health has received a $499,000 grant from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to lead a second year of an evaluation of a major community health worker initiative.

The initiative seeks to improve health outcomes of New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) residents in Harlem by linking people with community health workers.

“Despite its growing economy and rich cultural identity, Harlem continues to experience some of the highest rates of chronic, non-communicable disease in New York City,” said Lorna Thorpe, PhD, professor at the CUNY School of Public Health, and director of the initiative. “We are optimistic that community health workers can help residents achieve real and long-lasting improvements in their health, and that this place-based project may eventually serve as a model for cities all around the world.”

Community health workers are community members serving as frontline health workers who have a unique understanding of the norms, values, and strengths of the communities in which they work.

In February 2015, a team of community health workers began working with residents in 5 NYC public housing developments to assist residents with hypertension, diabetes and asthma help to manage these chronic diseases.

The project will be measured and evaluated on a longitudinal basis by using representative community surveys, focus groups, longitudinal data collection with bio-measures, and data linkage to administrative datasets.

For more information:
Chris Palmedo, PhD., MBA
Associate Professor, Media, Marketing and Communications
CUNY School of Public Health