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Syracuse Invest Health Team Showcases Downtown Syracuse’s Walkability, Opportunities for Improved Access to Healthy Foods

Monday, September 18, 2017

Syracuse, NY — The Syracuse Invest Health team was proud to host a national conference at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown (map), showcasing Downtown’s walkability and opportunities for improved access to healthy foods. On Monday, September 18 and Tuesday, September 19, 75 visitors from 30 mid-sized cities across the country learned about the connection between walkability and health in urban settings by hearing from local experts as well as national panelists. They visited local food retail models, including the Downtown Committee's own Downtown Farmers Market.

Syracuse is one of 50 teams chosen from 170 mid-sized cities to participate in the 18-month national Invest Health program, and one of only five participant cities selected to host a regional “pod” convening for participating Invest Health teams. The five-member Syracuse Invest Health team is comprised of staff from the Downtown Committee of Syracuse, Inc; the City of Syracuse Department of Neighborhood and Business Development; Upstate Medical University; Onondaga County Health Department’s Bureau of Health Promotion & Disease Prevention; and Cooperative Federal, a certified Community Development credit union. The team was selected by Reinvestment Fund and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to participate in the Invest Health initiative beginning in May 2016.

The Invest Health program improves mid-sized cities’ opportunities to promote better health outcomes by addressing social determinants of health, including jobs, housing, education, community safety and environmental conditions in low-income communities. The Syracuse Invest Health team is focused on developing a pipeline of capital projects and programs to improve access to healthy foods in and around Downtown Syracuse.

“We are honored to be chosen as a pod convening host city to demonstrate healthy practices already underway in Syracuse,” said Merike Treier, executive director of the Downtown Committee. “Our participation in Invest Health over the past 16 months has helped us learn about effective strategies in other mid-sized communities, and better understand how we might adapt and expand upon those practices to increase healthy food access in Downtown Syracuse.”

For more information about the Syracuse Invest Health team, you may click here, or contact our Economic Development Project Manager, Heather Schroeder at hschroeder@downtownsyracuse.com. To read more about the overall initiative, please visit http://investhealth.org

About Reinvestment Fund 
Reinvestment Fund is a catalyst for change in low-income communities. We integrate data, policy and strategic investments to improve the quality of life in low-income neighborhoods. Using analytical and financial tools, we bring high-quality grocery stores, affordable housing, schools and health centers to the communities that need better access—creating anchors that attract investment over the long term and help families lead healthier, more productive lives. Learn more at reinvestment.com.


About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation 
For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are striving to build a national Culture of Health that will enable all to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at www.twitter.com/rwjf or on Facebook at www.rwjf.org/facebook.

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