NWSI believes that a healthy neighborhood is rooted in the health of the residents who call it home. NWSI is working closely with community partners from Syracuse University’s Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion at the Maxwell School, Nojaim’s Brother’s Supermarket, and St. Joseph’s Primary Care West on a number of initiatives designed to improve community health by investing in programs that increase access and understanding of nutrition, provide spaces for recreation, and increase safety in our community.
As the last remaining independently owned grocery store in the City of Syracuse, the Nojaim family has tirelessly committed to serving the neighborhood for over 90 years. To further that commitment, in 2014 Nojaim’s Grocery Store completed a $2.5 million expansion and renovation of its store thanks to a $1 million NYS grant made possible through the CNY Regional Economic Development Council and the support of the Low Income Investment Fund.
Recognizing the increased rates of obesity, diabetes and other chronic illnesses in the neighborhood, Nojaim’s has also teamed up with St. Joseph’s Hospital, the NWSI, and the Lerner Center for Health Promotion at SU’s Maxwell School, with funding from Excellus Blue Cross/Blue Shield, to teach customers and patients how to eat healthy and reward them for buying more nutritious foods.
To enhance the store renovations at Nojaim’s, Paul Nojaim, the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion, and the NWSI partnered to bring more nutritional education to our neighborhood residents that shop there. Using NuVal, a nutritional scoring program, each item in the store now has a specific score ranging from 1 to 100, educating the consumer on the nutritional value of the item. NuVal simplifies the complicated nutritional labels and allows the consumer to make a quick and healthy choice. Through this system, Nojaim’s. can highlight healthy options within all the different food categories. With the assistance of the Lerner Center, those items will be available to our residents for a comparable price. Following the rollout of NuVal in the store, NuVal will be paired with a Healthy Shopper Reward Program that tallies the NuVal scores and rewards Nojaim’s customers for making those healthy choices.
St. Joseph’s Primary Care West
For the past decade, St. Joseph’s Hospital has operated a clinic in the Near Westside. Due to their great level of service, and their commitment to helping the Latino population in the neighborhood, they have seen more and more patients, reaching nearly 9,000 patients annually in 2012. With such a growing number of patients, and their ongoing dedication to the neighborhood, St. Joseph’s Hospital decided to build a new clinic.
In 2014 St. Joseph’s constructed a new $4.85 million health clinic, four times larger than the health center’s previous building at the rear of Nojaim’s parking lot near Seymour Street. The expanded center now has 12 providers, including three family medicine doctors, an obstetrician, a pediatrician, a behavioral health counselor and several physician assistants and nurse practitioners. Labeled as a “primary care center,” it serves more than 9,000 patients annually, placing an emphasis on food and nutrition education for low-income families and individuals, which comprised more than 75 percent of the center’s patients in 2012.
Near Westside Peacemaking Center
The Near Westside Peacemaking Project, a community conflict resolution program organized by the Center for Court Innovation in Syracuse, now has a new home at 601 Tully. Peacemaking is a traditional Native American approach to justice that brings together people who are in conflict, alongside other members of the community who have been affected by the dispute with the ultimate goal of healing. The NWS Peacemaking Project is designed to complement existing neighborhood revitalization efforts by addressing persistent quality-of-life crimes in the neighborhood and diverting cases from the justice system to the community for resolution. The Project recruits and trains local volunteers to act as Peacemakers for criminal, civil, and family matters referred from the court system, police, probation, and other justice agencies, and from neighborhood organizations, local schools, and members of the community. Peacemakers are trained by Native American and restorative justice practitioners from around the country.