Claremont Healthy Village Initiative (CHVI)

    Over three years ago the Department of Family Medicine at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center, along with the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and Health First, founded the “Claremont Healthy Village Initiative” (CHVI). The initiative started with a vision of improving the health and empowering residents within the Claremont Village New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments. The targeted NYCHA developments are home to more than 11,000 residents, located in the South Bronx’s Morrisania neighborhood.

Goal: To provide a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary coordinated program that would engage residents in creating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  The CHVI has been modeled on a four-pronged approach; medical wellness, physical wellness, nutritional wellness and social wellness.

Engagement:  In order to truly engender long lasting changes in any community, residents must be engaged through activities that are not only of interest to adults, but also to the young people.  The CHVI’s programs, services and practices support the vigorous growth of community members by implementing medical, social and educational programs aimed at healthy lives.

Partnerships:  In order to make real sustainable changes, diverse and dedicated partnerships are essential.  This ideal has driven the CHVI to forge strong partnerships with: NYCHA Tenant Association Presidents, Casita Maria, Bronx Documentary Center, William Hodson Senior Center, The Claremont Neighborhood Community Center, Butler Houses Community Center, Health First, Community Board #3, Grow NYC, P.S. 55, MEDIC and others.

If this is something you believe in, something you want to see succeed, please contact Mr. Patrick Masseo at

Claremont Healthy Village Initiative Calendar Of Events

CHVI Newsletter

posted Jun 28, 2017, 1:18 PM by Blh Webber   [ updated Jun 28, 2017, 1:19 PM ]

CHVI is happy to present its inaugural neighborhood newsletter.  This tri-annual publication will include stories, upcoming events, and other going-ons in Claremont.  Upcoming additions will feature a youth focused section that will help raise the voice of Claremont's young people.

Activate and Represent Your Community!

posted Jan 15, 2016, 10:05 AM by Blh Webber   [ updated Jan 15, 2016, 10:09 AM ]

On Saturday, January 23rd the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is hosting a community forum for you to come out and speak.

Please see the attached flier for more details!

2015, What a Year

posted Dec 30, 2015, 11:27 AM by Blh Webber   [ updated Dec 30, 2015, 12:30 PM ]

We have reached the end of another fruitful year for the Claremont Healthy Village Initiative (CHVI), and as with every year we were able to learn, reflect and grow in 2015.   Although we’ve made a lot of progress in 2015, we know the real work has just begun.  The Claremont Healthy Village Initiative looks forward to aim higher in 2016, continually pushing the bar further.  In order to do so, it is always helpful to look back on what has been accomplished and what goals and exciting opportunities exist for 2016:

Mission, Vision and Core Values: When the CHVI was started in 2012 the intention was to change the health of the community by creating partnerships with private, public and community sectors.  It was realized going into 2015 that there was a need to refresh this goal and set a strong foundation that partners agreed to and could reflect back on that clearly stated the mission, vision and core values.  Accomplished in the first quarter of 2015, the mission, vision, and values are set to catapult CHVI farther in 2016.

  GrowNYC Food Box: The locally-grown pre-packaged produce program completed its third and most successful year as a partner.  Live cooking demonstrations reinvigorated the program.  In 2016 we anticipate new and exciting expansion in terms of location, marketing, cooking education for the community, and nutrition information dissemination.

·         Leadership Training: A group of prospective community and resident leaders were recruited and participate in training for community leaders.  The training aims to strengthen their leadership skills and teach how to develop a community vision, assess community strengths and needs.  This was made possible by CHVI partner Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba (MEDICC) and generously funded by a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJ) grant.  We are excited for the residents and community members to complete this training and take on more of a leadership role in 2016 and continue community capacity development.

 “What Can I Eat?”:  The Department of Family Medicine partnered with the American Diabetes Association National office in order to pilot an intense nutrition education program for people living with type 2 diabetes.  As one of the CHVI partners Family Medicine at Bronx-Lebanon extended the opportunity to community leaders to be trained as class facilitators and for residents to participate in the class.

Youth Council: One of the year’s biggest accomplishments was a new partnership with Directions For Our Youth (DFOY), who in partnership with the Claremont Neighborhood Center assembled a group of 45 youth to begin training in leadership, activism, advocacy, community responsibility, public speaking and presentation skills.  The CHVI believes community capacity and development are necessary for sustainability, and will be a focus for 2016 and beyond.

Senior Arts and Mental Health Program:  CHVI partners William Hodson Senior Center, Casita Maria and the Department of Family Medicine at Bronx-Lebanon were awarded a two-year grant by the The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation.  The grant, which kicked off in September brings arts programming, taught by Casita Maria artists, to the William Hodson Senior Center.  The group classes allow seniors an opportunity to pursue the arts while also engaging fellow seniors.  Family Medicine capitalizes on the captive audience of seniors to offer brief lessons on mental health and recruit those in need to participate in group therapy sessions with a licensed clinical social worker, as well as private appointments with a geriatrician.  The program saw large growth in the final quarter of 2015 and looks forward to a successful 2016 and beyond.

Protecting Neighborhood Environmental Beauty: A small grant, awarded via the Citizens Committee For New York City Neighborhood Grants in 2015, will be implemented in Spring/Summer of 2016 to fund the design and build of beautiful tree guards.  Even more exciting is the plan to have youth and seniors design and paint the tree guards together, connecting generations in an effort to beautify the community. 

 Youth, Food, Art and more: A huge achievement in 2015 was the awarding of a South Bronx Healthy and Livable Neighborhoods Grant by the New York Community Trust to the Claremont Neighborhood Center.  With many CHVI partners co-grantees, all are working together to increase access to fresh & healthy food, increase opportunities for physical activity by activating open spaces, expand the development of neighborhood capacity by growing the Youth Council, and increase access to the arts and cultural in the Claremont community.  2016 and 2017 are geared to experience tremendous growth and opportunity with the various programs and projects that will be introduced to Claremont.  

The Community’s Events: The Summer of 2015 saw another successful season of community activation and advocacy furor.  Organized by community leaders events such as National Night Out, Morris House Family Day, Stop The Violence Rally, RFT and Bringing In The Peace, Morrisania-Webster Family Day, HealthFirst Health Expo and more were happily supported by CHVI partner organizations and CHVI looks forward to another prosperous calendar of events in 2016 and for years to come.  The events provide a fun and subtle way to engage community members, provide health screenings, and disseminate health materials.

Youth Jobs and Work Experience:  MapCorps, created in Chicago offers youth an opportunity gain real-world experience while also learning more about the assets within their community.  Partnering with the Mt. Sinai’s Adolescent Health Center twenty Claremont youth had the chance to learn technology skills and comprehensive community mapping experience while also earning a stipend upon completion.  Youth worked for 6 weeks in Summer 2015 in various local zip codes mapping community assets by collecting, cataloguing and analyzing data about businesses and organizations.


With just a small sample of what has been accomplished in 2015, 2016 looks to be even bigger and better.  The continually growing and wide-ranging opportunities for community youth, adults and seniors will continue to improve Claremont, bringing the neighborhood closer to CHVI’s vision of:  A nurtured, sustained and vibrant community with empowered residents that have taken charge of their health and well-being.

Thank you to all who helped and contributed to 2015’s successes.  It is not possible without the support from each and every one of CHVI’s partners, both organizations and individual community members make immeasurable contributions to the success of the Claremont Healthy Village Initiative. In 2016 we look forward to collecting more data to show how successful a program like the CHVI can be, while also utilizing it to make smarter and more informed decisions for future strategies.  2016 will also bring an increased presence of community members and residents, as CHVI sub-committees are called upon to push forward the improvements and opportunities they envision for each and every resident.



BLFM Residents Reach Out to Clean Up

posted Nov 20, 2015, 7:18 AM by Blh Webber   [ updated Nov 20, 2015, 7:19 AM ]

On a Fall Friday Family Medicine Residents joined Claremont Healthy Village Initiative members to continue the CHVI's work to clean and beautify the neighborhood.  Residents, staff and local community members swept, raked, cleaned and planted in a local park and garden. Luckily, the fall and winter cold held off for them. Thank you to all of the BLFM Residents, staff and community members that participated!

Youth Council Kick-Off!

posted Nov 9, 2015, 6:10 AM by Blh Webber   [ updated Nov 9, 2015, 6:11 AM ]

On Saturday, November 7th the Claremont Healthy Village Initiative held its first ever Youth Council Kick-Off event.  The Urban Ambassadors of Hope Youth Council is the product of partner organizations and their determination to change outcomes in the Claremont Neighborhood.  On Saturday the kick-off began with the youth participants listening to the stories of pupils only a few years older than themselves and how they, coming from the same area and conditions as the Claremont youth, had decided to make a change and embark to create a difference in their home neighborhood and beyond.  The curriculum developed with input from Directions For Our Youth, Claremont Neighborhood Center and Family Medicine Bronx-Lebanon is designed to cultivate within the youth leadership abilities while also educating them on opportunities available to them, as well as on the importance of living a health life. 

Congratulations to the youth were selected to participate in this great program and to the facilitators who put the curriculum and material together!


Grant Announcement

posted Nov 9, 2015, 5:52 AM by Blh Webber   [ updated Nov 9, 2015, 5:52 AM ]

On Thursday, October 1st the New York Community Trust announced that a Claremont Healthy Village Initiative partnership had received a two year grant totaling $250,000 over the grant period.  The collaboration was led by the Claremont Neighborhood Center, and partner organizations included Family Medicine at Bronx-Lebanon, Bronx Documentary Center, Casita Maria, Directions For Our Youth, and Grow NYC. 

The grant will support the expansion of the Claremont Healthy Village Initiative Youth Council, while also creating paid internship opportunities for Youth Council graduates. Grant funds will also support a variety of other programs including expansion of healthy food access for Claremont residents, creative art programming, nutrition education, paid internships, summer film viewings, and much more.  Congratulations to all partners!

Bringing Health and Wellness to Claremont Seniors

posted Sep 11, 2015, 10:17 AM by Blh Webber

On Thursday, September 10th the Department of Family Medicine, Casita Maria, Dances for a Variable Population, and the William Hodson Senior Center hosted their Arts and Movement Speaks kick-off event.  The CHVI program, funded by the Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, brings together the partnering community based organizations in order to focus on mental health and wellbeing among seniors.  
    The Casita Maria and Dances for a Variable Population will work together to host daily classes at the Hodson Senior Center, engaging participants in visual arts, dancing, story telling, ceramics, and theater.  Family Medicine will work concurrently with the seniors and teaching artists to address mental health and wellness, utilziing one on one visits with the Department geriatrician, as well as group visits with a Department behavioral scientist.
    The kick off was a huge success, with the seniors moving and grooving as they got samples of the various programs that would be offered.  Thank you to all who made the event such a success!


Bringing the Peace

posted Aug 25, 2015, 6:54 AM by Blh Webber

On Saturday, August 22nd members of the Family Medicine Department and Bronx-Lebanon Mobile Unit were out supporting another great community cause.  Bringing the Peace, an annual event aimed at educating and encouraging community members to lead by example, and help put a stop to unnecessary and senseless violence took place at 169th and 3rd Ave. in the Bronx. Health education materials were handed out, insurance enrollment, group games, bike safety and riding education, food, and an inter-building basketball game were all on the agenda.

Bringing the Peace was coordinated and supported by various Claremont Healthy Village Initiative partners, including HealthFirst, NYC Parks Department, the Claremont Neighborhood Center, the Robert Fulton Terrace Resident Association and others.  Thank you to all who came out to support the event!

"Stop the Violence Rally" Marks 15th Year

posted Aug 17, 2015, 9:10 AM by Blh Webber   [ updated Aug 17, 2015, 9:14 AM ]

On Saturday, August 15th members of the local community gathered within the Claremont Housing Developments in support of the 15th annual "Stop the Violence" campaign.  The campaign was founded by Mr. Bernard Smith, a local resident who lost his son to violence 15 years ago, in order to raise awareness within the community about the violence and loss of life in the area.  Stop the Violence is a partner organization to the Claremont Healthy Village Initiative, and other members of CHVI were out to support the event.  

The Family Medicine Department from Bronx-Lebanon attended providing health education materials, while the Bronx-Lebanon Mobile Unit provided health screenings for all persons interested.  Grow NYC attended, offering a cooking demonstration featuring a healthy salad.  Thank you to all who made the event a success.

Morris Houses Family Day and National Night Out

posted Aug 17, 2015, 9:00 AM by Blh Webber   [ updated Aug 17, 2015, 9:00 AM ]

On Tuesday, August 4th, CHVI Partner NYCHA Tenant Association for the Morris Houses held two great events.  Beginning earlier in the day, NYCHA Tenant Association President Ms. Holmes coordinated her annual Morris Houses Family Day. The day was a big hit, with fun, food, and beautiful weather.  Members of the Family Medicine Department were in attendance taking Blood Pressures, and providing valuable health information that educated residents on ways to live healthier more fulfilling lives.  CHVI partner Grow NYC, attended the event in full force, offering a cooking demonstration with vegetables and fruit available from Grow NYC's weekly food box program located outside the Claremont Neighborhood center.  CHVI partner HealthFirst was also a large part of making the program a success.

As the Family Day party came to a close, the community quickly switched gears to join the National Night Out.  National Night Out is held each year across the country with the aim of raising awareness for safety and integrating police into the local community.  The event was also a success, with various CHVI partners coming to support the event.  Residents, community organizations and police all relaxing and enjoying the beautiful summer evening as the sun set on the park.


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