Mobilizing the Community for Better Health
From 1999 to 2009, The Northern Manhattan Community Voices Collaborative put Columbia University and its Medical Center in touch with surrounding community organizations and churches to facilitate access to primary care, nutritional improvement, and smoking cessation, and to broker innovative ways to access healthcare and other social services. This unlikely partnership and the relationships it forged reaffirms the wisdom of joining "town and gown" to improve a community's well-being.
Staff members of participating organizations have coauthored this volume, which shares the successes, failures, and obstacles of implementing a vast community health program. A representative of Alianza Dominicana, for example, one of the country's largest groups settling new immigrants, speaks to the value of community-based organizations in ridding a neighborhood of crime, facilitating access to health insurance, and navigating the healthcare system. The editors outline the beginnings and infrastructure of the collaboration and the relationship between leaders that fueled positive outcomes. Their portrait demonstrates how grassroots solutions can create productive dialogues that help resolve difficult issues.