The Designing a Strong and Healthy New York City Workgroup (DASH-NYC)

                                                              

The Designing a Strong and Healthy New York City Workgroup (DASH-NYC)

The New York Academy of Medecine
Solution proposed by: 
The New York Academy of Medicine and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as part of the NYC Population Health Improvement Program, a state-funded partnership charged with promoting health and health equity, improved health care, and
In a Nutshell: 
The DASH-NYC Workgroup, a multisector effort comprised of experts in fields ranging from urban planning to economic development to community services, aims to spread proven approaches to chronic disease prevention through healthy eating and active living community-level interventions.
Where and When: 
DASH-NYC was convened in 2015 in New York City.
Challenges: 
In NYC, more than half of premature deaths are due to chronic health conditions that may be preventable through healthy eating and active living, but New Yorkers have unequal opportunities to engage in these healthy lifestyles. Thus, DASH-NYC was created to improve the ability of New Yorkers to lead healthy lives by encouraging increased implementation of and investment in interventions focused on nutrition and fitness at the community level.
Innovation: 
): Many community organizations implement health-oriented programs independently, but DASH-NYC recognizes the critical importance of addressing the range of social, environmental and behavioral factors that influence health through cross-sector collaboration. The diverse workgroup fosters the dissemination of knowledge and lessons learned across the many sectors that impact community members’ ability to lead healthy lives – including transportation, healthy housing, community development, fresh healthy food and safe parks and places to be active - while also facilitating partnerships that can create real and comprehensive change on the ground. With its focus on healthy eating and active living, we expect that the group will have a substantial impact on chronic disease prevention in NYC.
Concept: 
Many organizations in New York City have developed and implemented unique programs to support community members in engaging in healthy lifestyles. However, they tend to work in silos, focusing only on the aspect of health promotion that falls within their natural scope of work. The innovative concept behind DASH-NYC is that, by bringing together organizations that work across a range of sectors, effective approaches can be spread, scaled and built upon to have a larger and more widespread impact on the health of New Yorkers.
Description: 
The DASH-NYC Workgroup advances chronic disease prevention in NYC by identifying and disseminating best practices in healthy eating and active living interventions, with a focus on low income or under-resources communities. DASH-NYC brings together experts and leaders in the range of sectors that influence access and opportunities for engaging in healthy eating and physical activity habits, including urban planning, transportation, community development, health care, social services, community organizing, government, and academia, to improve health and advance health equity in NYC. DASH-NYC enables leaders to bring lessons learned from other fields back into their own work while also encouraging cross-sector collaboration and reducing unnecessary duplication of efforts. DASH-NYC is developing several products to support leaders across sectors in implementing chronic disease prevention programs. The recently released Interventions for Healthy Eating and Active Urban Living: A Guide for Community Health provides hospitals and community organizations with information on a range of proven and promising approaches to support healthy eating and active living at the community level. Future products will also include case studies focused on cross-sector community partnerships in programming related to healthy eating and active living in NYC and include details on the background, impact, and sustainability of each effort, along with advice to others looking to develop similar interventions in NYC and beyond.
Impacts: 
DASH-NYC has successfully created a bridge that allows health and non-health organizations working in the same space to further their awareness of 1) potential opportunities for collaboration; 2) overlapping areas of interest; and 3) opportunities for leveraging partnerships in advocacy and policy efforts. By creating this forum, DASH-NYC enables organizations to maximize their scare resources, multiply their impact, and reduce duplication of efforts. This innovative group supports the long-term sustainability of the urban landscape by encouraging multiple sectors to focus on promoting health and preventing disease, thereby producing a city that fosters the long-term health and vitality of its population.

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