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Building healthier families - Advocates train to aid the community’s well being

Healthy Families Brooklyn, a community-based health advocacy program under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Paul Smith, welcomed its newest round of grantees with a recognition and grant awards ceremony at First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn.

Healthy Families Brooklyn with its partners, the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health and Long Island College Hospital awarded grants to the Red Hook Initiative, the Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation, the Children’s Defense Fund, and the Brownsville Partnership at Common Ground to implement Healthy Families Advocates Programs.

In collaboration with Healthy Families Brooklyn, these groups will now recruit, train and support people from the community to undergo a 30 hour training session to become community-based patient navigators and health advocates.

After training the advocates will be well versed in basic eligibility criteria for public health insurance, the diseases that are prevalent among Brooklyn’s diverse populations such as asthma, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, heart disease, communication and peer counseling skills.

They will learn how to refer people to the appropriate health services, as well as administer basic first aid, CPR and more.

“You have to go to the source,” said Smith, which is what made the decision to give grant awards to these particular organizations natural.

Sports and Arts already works with youth and parents in New York City public schools, Brownsville Partnership at Common Ground provides all of its social services within the housing developments in Brownsville where it works, meeting people where they are, and the Red Hook Initiative is a well-entrenched community fixture in Red Hook, welcoming and serving more than 200 Red Hook residents a month.

Healthy Families Brooklyn was founded in 2006 with the generous support and funding provided by John Wren, president and CEO of the Omnicom Group, chairman of the board of Long Island College Hospital and trustee of the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health.

Healthy Families Brooklyn is located at Long Island College Hospital at 97 Amity Street.

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