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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

Yale: Five-year Grant Awarded to Improve Health Outcomes in New Haven

A New Haven-based organization committed to improving health outcomes in the city’s underserved neighborhoods has been awarded a 5-year federal grant of up to $3.68 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The grant includes $720,000 in the first year, with additional funding of a similar amount anticipated for the remaining years. The project, called Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health, will be coordinated by the Community Alliance for Research and Engagement (CARE), an organization that is co-housed at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) and the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH).

A third of the money will be allocated to the New Haven community via local organizations and leaders with the intent of enhancing and developing health projects to benefit low-income and underserved populations.

“Health disparities among communities of color in New Haven, particularly in low-income neighborhoods, are an urgent public health problem that we must address,” said Ms. Alycia Santilli, director of CARE and assistant professor in the SCSU Department of Public Health.

“We are very enthusiastic about the opportunities this grant will bring to the community — to support and enhance the work of many community partners that work toward health equity.”

She said the competitive grant – one of only about 30 awarded nationally this year — will bolster the efforts of various programs already making a substantial difference in New Haven.

Among the plans for the grant are to:

Dr. Sandra Bulmer, dean of the SCSU School of Health and Human Services, said the grant is very important for the school, the university and the New Haven community as a whole.

“This grant supports our community partners with their important work, provides resources for New Haven residents, and simultaneously expands practice-based learning opportunities for our undergraduate and graduate students,” Dr. Bulmer said. “I am tremendously grateful for the many New Haven agencies that partner with us to provide hands-on training for our students. This grant will allow us to work together in new ways so that we can move closer to our common vision of eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities for New Haven residents.”

The grant will bolster the partnership between YSPH and SCSU, with SCSU implementing community activities and YSPH implementing evaluation activities. The evaluation will be led by Dr. Kathleen O’Connor Duffany, CARE’s research and evaluation director and associate research scientist at YSPH.

“This grant provides us with the opportunity and funding to continue working toward health equity with neighborhood residents and community partners in New Haven. Utilizing grass-roots mobilization and adapting evidence-based practices to the local context, we will be able to determine what works here in New Haven while being a model for other small cities in the United States,” said Dr. Duffany.

CARE and New Haven are ideally positioned to implement this project, according to Ms. Santilli, noting that CARE has an 11-year history of partnerships in New Haven. The project is set to begin immediately.