The Lerner Center’s Monday Miles are Celebrated on International Day of Persons with Disabilities

December 3rd is International Day of Persons with Disabilities. We strive to create inclusive and accessible Monday Mile walking routes that all members of our community can enjoy. Our Inclusivity Policy assures Monday Miles will be safe and accessible for those of all abilities. Here is our feature in the article from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Making the Monday Mile Inclusive for All in City of Syracuse, New York

Approximately 1 in 5 adults in New York State has a disability, and compared to adults without disabilities, they are less likely to get leisure-time physical activity.

Two nonprofit organizations based in Syracuse, NY – ARISE, a Center for Independent Living, and HealtheConnections, a group that supports better health for the people living in Central New York – partnered with NACDD’s Reaching People with Disabilities through Healthy Communities project to create inclusive health opportunities.

One project, done in collaboration with the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion at Syracuse University, is Monday Mile, a program with 25 designated 1-mile walking routes. Each route is marked with maps, directional arrows, and distance markers to encourage residents to be physically active.

As a direct result of the NACDD’s Reaching People with Disabilities through Healthy Communities project, the Lerner Center adopted a new Inclusivity Policy to incorporate the principles of inclusion in the design of new Monday Mile routes. They created a checklist of considerations and a feasibility assessment to help designers carry out the policy.

Project partners are already using the Inclusivity Policy with interested groups to designate a new Monday Mile route in a low-income Syracuse neighborhood that lacks safe, accessible walking paths. Partners are also developing Monday Miles routes in parks and public places in counties in central New York, where an estimated 95,000-115,000 people with disabilities could benefit. The Inclusivity Policy is now an integral part of the Monday Mile toolkit[9.26 MB], a planning resource used by local communities to plan accessible walking routes.

You can check out the full article here

The Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion Announces Grant Winners

The Lerner Center is pleased to announce the winners of the inaugural Faculty Fellows Grant Program. The purpose of the Fellows Grant Program is to fund population health or health promotion research at SU that focuses on impacting health behaviors, institutions, systems, or policies to reduce risk for and/or consequences of chronic disease and/or premature mortality at the individual, community, or societal levels. Projects must include one or more of the Lerner Center’s key strategic priority areas of diet and nutrition, physical activity, tobacco use, substance misuse, stress reduction, and mental health. This year’s winners are:

“Nudging Physical Activity in Early Adolescents with ADHD”

  • Kevin Antshel, Dept. of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Andrew London, Dept. of Sociology, Maxwell School
  • Scott Landes, Dept. of Sociology, Maxwell School
  • Joseph Boskovski, Maxwell X Lab, Maxwell School

“Impact of Gardening on Refugee Mental Health, Community Building, and Economic Well-being in Central New York”

  • Rashmi Gangamma, Dept. of Marriage and Family Therapy, Falk College
  • Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern, Dept. of Public Health, Food Studies, and Nutrition, Falk College
  • Bhavneet Walia, Dept. of Public Health, Food Studies, and Nutrition, Falk College

The Lerner Center was established in 2011 with a generous endowment from Sid and Helaine Lerner. The mission of the Center is to improve population health through applied research and evaluation, education, engaged service, and advocating for evidence-based policy and practice change. The Center partners with local residents, students, researchers, and public health professionals to identify health needs, develop programming and deploy collaborative initiatives.


Northside Walk Audit

On September 28, 2018, a walk audit was conducted along three busy corridors in Syracuse’s Northside neighborhood along Oak, Butternut and Park Streets. The audit was planned by representatives from Interfaith Works, Northside UP, the local American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) chapter, Northside Learning Center, Hopeprint, Northeast Community Center and the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion at Syracuse University.  Continue Reading

Madison County Celebrates Monday Mile Day

Chittenango Monday Mile Grand Opening
Community activist Donna Lynch cutting the ribbon for the Chittenango Monday Mile grand opening on Monday Mile Day.

September 29, 2018 was Madison County Monday Mile Day. The Madison County Rural Health Council celebrated their Monday Mile walking program with healthy snacks, prizes, and group Monday Miles. Ten of their 12 Monday Mile county-wide routes participated in the event. Monday Mile Day served to increase awareness about the established routes and to motivate community members to get outside and get moving! Participants were encouraged to walk the Monday Mile and complete a survey about their usage of the routes. Of the approximate 130 participants throughout the 10 sites, 72 completed the survey, and 12 people signed up to be Monday Mile Group Leaders. These leaders will be responsible for organizing a weekly Monday Mile walk in their community in hopes to increase physical activity and social connection. The Madison County Rural Health Council, Live Well Committee, and community members worked together make the day a success.

Faculty Fellows Program Announced

The Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University is proud to announce its inaugural Lerner Center Faculty Fellows Grant Program. The Faculty Fellows Grant Program will fund at least two research/evaluation awards in the areas of population health and health promotion. Awards up to a maximum of $25,000 will last up to 24 months. At least one of the awards will be granted to a project that incorporates the Lerner Center’s Healthy Monday campaign principles, messaging, and/or programming.

A letter of intent is requested by September 15, 2018. Full proposals are due by October 12, 2018.

For more information about this initiative, please visit the Faculty Fellows Program page.

Better Spaces, Safer Places: Wyoming Street Neighborhood Audit

Community members completing the audit toolImproving neighborhood safety is a team effort. The Lerner Center and its community partners recognized a need for improvements to safety and upkeep in certain areas of the Near Westside. In November 2017, an expert in Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED: pronounced “cep-ted”) came to the neighborhood to speak about ways that the built environment can influence perceptions of safety, enhance community, and even deter crime. This event, part of the Visioning Voices Series hosted by SUNY ESF, provided the template and tools for the Lerner Center’s audit of the Wyoming Street corridor in the Near Westside.



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Throwback Post: Halloween Costume Carnival!

Lerner Fellow Eunice with three middle schoolers dressed up in costume

Here at the Lerner Center, we love a good costume carnival. So when we were invited by our friends at Take Back the Streets to host activities and games at the Blodgett Middle School Halloween event, we suited up in our best cat onesies and headed to the Near Westside. Continue Reading

Making Recreation Inclusive, One Mile at a Time

Monday Mile sign along the track in DeRuyter, NYThe Lerner Center’s mission is to improve the health of the community through service, research, education, advocacy and policy. To bring this mission to life, Lerner Center staff and graduate fellows took part in a 10-hour online inclusivity training. The InclusionU training and certification program offered through the Inclusive Recreation Resource Center at SUNY Cortland focuses on evaluation metrics anyone can use to assess the inclusivity of particular recreational spaces. An online database collects information about the accessibility of everything from trails and parks to bowling alleys. People of all abilities can check out the database before heading to a place of recreation to ensure they will be able to access and participate in the activities. The ultimate goal of these assessments is to help all people, regardless of ability, to play wherever they choose. Continue Reading

Mobile Pantry Brings Fresh Food To Near Westside Residents

Amy Wilson, Community Nutrition Manager at the Food Bank of CNY, shows produce items packed in a box.
Amy Wilson, Community Nutrition Manager at the Food Bank of CNY, shows produce items packed in a box.

The need for healthy, fresh food is urgent on the Near Westside.

To help meet this need, the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion has teamed up with the Near Westside Peacemaking Project and the Food Bank of Central New York to bring the Mobile Food Pantry to Syracuse residents who are most in need.

Last week, residents received approximately 150 food boxes filled with milk, eggs, yogurt, fruit, vegetables and bread via the Food Bank’s Mobile Food Pantry. The distribution on a Friday afternoon was the third Mobile Food Pantry distribution that has been organized since the closing of the neighborhood’s anchor grocery store, Nojaim Brothers Supermarket, last September.

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