, Volume 78, Issue 1, pp 176-180

Partnering with communities to improve health: The New York City turning point experience

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

Concurrent with the New York City Department of Health’s reorganization efforts, the Robert Wood Johnson and W.K. Kellogg Foundations launched Turning Point, a national initiative designed to strengthen the nation’s public health system. The Turning Point initiative has emphasized broad-based partnership building and planning as key prerequisites for improving public health practice. In response to the foundations’ request for proposals, the department formed a New York City Public Health Partnership, which in turn applied for and was granted a Turning Point planning grant. This funding allowed New York City Turning Point to initiate a public health planning process, part o f which involved convening forums in each of the five boroughs. With over 1,100 community participants, these forums provided both a starting point for establishing public health priorities and an interactive setting for sharing health and demographic data. Included among the issues that emerged as priorities were: access to care, environmental health, mental health, housing, asthma, education, and dietary issues. Building on the forum outcomes, the New York City Public Health Partnership developed a public health system improvement plan. The goals delineated in this plan are: (1) to create and support public health partnerships at the community, borough, and citywide levels; (2) to identify community health concerns and develop strategies responsive to these concerns; and (3) to develop policies to support and sustain a community health approach to improve health status. This article also discusses possible roles for local health departments in promoting a community health approach to address public health concerns.