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June 20, 2019

For Immediate Release:

HANYS honors Montefiore Health System with 2019 Community Health Improvement Award

HANYS Presents Community Health Improvement Award to Montefiore Health System

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY — The Healthcare Association of New York State presented its 2019 Community Health Improvement Award to Montefiore Health System in recognition of its outstanding community health program, “Healthy Food Initiative.” See the video profile of this initiative.

“We congratulate Montefiore Health System for its exemplary initiative aimed at improving the health of their community,” said HANYS President Bea Grause, RN, JD. “We salute all healthcare providers across the state who are engaged in countless similar initiatives to make a positive difference in their communities.”

The award was presented at HANYS’ 51st Annual Membership Conference.

Montefiore Health System is located in one of the least healthy of the state’s 62 counties. To improve availability and access to healthy foods in communities where its patients and associates live, the Montefiore Healthy Food Initiative aimed to increase the supply/availability and demand for healthier foods, while reducing the promotion and availability of less-healthful options.

Montefiore’s Office of Community & Population Health used data to “hotspot” the communities that would most benefit from the initiative. It then worked with stakeholders along the continuum of food distribution, marketing and consumption. The team disseminated a community-informed healthy food marketing campaign. Montefiore also recruited partner groups to become “bodega buddies” with local stores to advocate for the stocking and promotion of healthier items and serve as agents for change in their communities.

Results included a significant decrease in sugary drink consumption and more stores carrying healthier items. Now 41% of youth (grades 9-12) report drinking one or more sugary drinks in the past seven days, compared to 62.1% in 2007. The team observed an increased availability of canned fruit in 100% juice/light syrup (50% to 88%), fresh ready-to-eat fruits (0% to 25%) and dried fruit (38% to 63%) from baseline to follow-up assessment.

“Health starts by having access to, and awareness of healthy choices,” said Dr. Amanda Parsons, vice president, community & population health at Montefiore and assistant professor, Albert Einstein College of Medicine. “We are so grateful to HANYS for recognizing the important work we do in partnership with local businesses and community organizations, to invest and improve the health of our region.”

The Community Health Improvement Award, established by HANYS in 1997, recognizes outstanding initiatives designed to improve the health and well-being of communities. The Award is presented to facilities and programs that target specific community health issues, demonstrate leadership, collaborate among diverse groups and achieve quantifiable results.

The Healthcare Association of New York State is the only statewide hospital and continuing care association in New York, representing nonprofit and public hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies and other healthcare organizations.