Creating Healthy Schools and Communities (CHSC) is a five-year (2015-2020), public health initiative of the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) with the goal of reducing major risk factors of obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases in 85 high-need school districts and associated communities.

Strengthening Our Communities

NYSDOH provides grant funding to local organizations and county health departments to work with their communities to increase demand for and access to healthy, affordable foods and opportunities for daily physical activity.

OPCE coverage in New York includes the Western, Central, Capital, MARO and NY City regions.

The grantees include:

  • Western Region: Chautauqua County Health Network, Inc.; Cornell Cooperative Extension of Niagara; Erie 1 BOCES; Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency; Genesee, Livingston, Steuben, Wyoming BOCES
  • Central Region: County of Broome; Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES; Onondaga County Health Department; St. Lawrence County Health Initiative, Inc.
  • Capital Region: Capital Roots; Clinton County Health Department; Glens Falls Hospital; North Country Healthy Heart Network, Inc.; Research Foundation for SUNY Cobleskill; Seton Health Foundation
  • Metropolitan Area Region: Cornell Cooperative Extension of Sullivan County; Nepperhan Community Center, Inc.; Orange County Department of Health; Rockland County Department of Health; Western Suffolk BOCES
  • New York City: Fund for Public Health in New York, Inc./NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; The Institute for Family Health

An additional grant funded the New York State Obesity Prevention Center for Excellence (OPCE) (operated by JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc.) to provide technical assistance, training, resources, and a collaboration network for grantees.

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Strategies That Make A Difference

New York residents deserve every opportunity to live healthy lives. The ability to make healthy choices is shaped by where individuals live, work, and learn. CHSC grantees are taking action to increase opportunities for healthier living throughout the state. These activities span school districts and their associated communities.

NYSDOH and OPCE unite Schools and Communities


School-Based Strategies

  • Wellness policies: Revise, implement, and assess local wellness policies to improve the school environment
  • Healthy food environment: Increase access to healthy, affordable foods and enhance school districts’ ability to meet federal nutrition standards for foods sold outside the school meals programs
  • Food marketing: Restrict food marketing to children
  • Physical activity: Establish Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs (CSPAP)

Community-Based Strategies

  • Healthy food access: Increase access to healthy foods in communities through small food retail, food hubs, and mobile produce sales
  • Healthy procurement: Increase adoption and use of food standards and procurement policies that increase healthy foods in community settings
  • Active transportation: Increase opportunities to walk, bike, and roll by adopting and implementing Complete Streets policies, plans, and practices

These strategies represent evidence-based policies, place-based strategies, and promising practices carefully selected for their potential to support healthy eating and active living. By 2020, the school-based strategies are expected to reach 100% of schools in participating districts. The community-based strategies are expected to improve food access for at least 10% of the population in selected communities and to foster marked increases in the number of communities with Complete Streets policies, plans, and projects.

Want to tell others about the CHSC grant?
You can download this CHSC webpage as a fact sheet.


NYSDOH Creating Healthy Schools and Communities Overview

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