Health Foundation awards $50,000 grant to establish healthy aging framework

The Health Foundation for Western and Central New York has awarded a $50,000 grant to the New York State Department of Health to establish a healthy aging framework within Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Health Across All Policies Initiative and prepare the state’s Prevention Agenda for 2019-2024.

The goal of the Health Across All Policies initiative is to engage and work collaboratively with state agencies from multiple sectors to make sure that health improvement is a focus of their policies and regulations. Initially, the initiative focuses on creating age-friendly communities and policies.

“Policies that promote age-friendly communities and healthy aging will help improve the health of all New Yorkers and make our communities a great place to live for anyone, at any age,” Health Foundation President Nora OBrien-Suric said.

With its focus on improving the health of young children and older adults, the Health Foundation wants to be an integral part of creating a Healthy Aging Roadmap and making the Health Across All Policies initiative a success in New York.

That is why the Health Foundation is one of the first health funders that is supporting implementation to ensure HAAP has a healthy start. Funds will support a project director that will manage the initiative and work collaboratively to create a Healthy Aging Roadmap for the state.

The project director and HAAP working group will also identify and implement methods to spread HAAP to local partnerships so that community health efforts can benefit from the impact of multiple agencies working together. This includes guidance on engaging non-health partners in sectors such as housing, transportation and education; integrating non-health planning and policies that affect community health into regular plan­ning processes; and creating plans for evaluating progress toward community goals.

The final goal is to incorporate HAAP and the Healthy Aging Roadmap into the updated New York State Prevention Agenda for 2019-2024, with a focus on ways non-health agencies can contribute to local community health improvement.

In the months ahead, the Health Foundation will continue to work with advocates for livable communities, including AARP and the New York State Office for the Aging, to support this initiative and ensure that health will be a focus across all policies throughout the state.