Manhattan DA's office awards $10.3 million grant to create Youth Opportunity Hub

March 08, 2017

March 7, 2017 -- The Manhattan District Attorney's Criminal Justice Investment Initiative has awarded a grant to Alwyn T. Cohall, MD, co-leader of an interdisciplinary team of investigators and community partners, professor of Sociomedical Sciences and Population and Family Health at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, and director of the Harlem Health Promotion Center. The 4-year award of $10.3 million through the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University Medical Center, and the Mailman School of Public Health will be used to create a Youth Opportunity Hub in Northern Manhattan. The Hub grants provide wraparound support and opportunities to youth and young adults in target neighborhoods through well-coordinated partnerships among community-based organizations to reduce involvement in the criminal justice system.

Dr. Cohall, who is also a professor of Pediatrics, was honored, along with his colleagues, at a kick-off event on Monday, February 27th led by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.

"I am delighted to accept this grant which will help build upon our work on incarceration and public health -- particularly as it relates to prevention -- creating an "urban sanctuary" for high-risk youth to reduce their involvement in the criminal justice system," said Dr. Cohall. "I envision this project as an extraordinary opportunity for student involvement across our campus, and am thrilled that the award represents a concrete example of interdisciplinary collaboration among faculty at NewYork-Presbyterian, New York State Psychiatric Institute, and the Mailman School of Public Health, along with a network of community-based organizations." Dr. Cohall's co-principal investigator on the project is Erica Chin in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center.

Dr. Cohall's areas of research include adolescent health; reproductive health; violence; access to healthcare, particularly for young men of color; and health communication/health promotion. A board-certified pediatrician and adolescent medicine physician, Dr. Cohall also serves as the director of Project Stay (Services to Assist Youth), a New York State Department of Health funded program that provides confidential health services to young people affected by or infected with HIV/AIDS. He is also the medical director of the New York STD Prevention Training Center, one of eight centers funded by the Centers for Disease Control to enhance the skills of health providers in managing patients with sexually transmitted infections. Additionally, he is co-director, along with his wife Renee Cohall LCSW, of BeWell, a unique health and wellness initiative supporting young people involved in BridgeUP - an academic enrichment program housed in five New York Public Library sites.

"We are truly grateful to the Manhattan District's Attorney's Office to be selected for this generous grant," said Lisa Metsch, PhD, chair and Stephen Smith Professor of Sociomedical Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health. "This investment will go a long way in helping us expand our efforts in support of at-risk youth and their families in the underserved neighborhoods where the Mailman School of Public Health is located. Through Dr. Alwyn Cohall's leadership, we will continue to serve and further our programs for local teens, young adults, and their families and succeed in achieving healthier communities for all."

Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health

Related Public Health Articles from Brightsurf:

COVID-19 and the decolonization of Indigenous public health
Indigenous self-determination, leadership and knowledge have helped protect Indigenous communities in Canada during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and these principles should be incorporated into public health in future, argue the authors of a commentary in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal)

Public health consequences of policing homelessness
In a new study examining homelessness, researchers find that policy such a lifestyle has massive public health implications, making sleeping on the street even MORE unhealthy.

Electronic health information exchange improves public health disease reporting
Disease tracking is an important area of focus for health departments in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pandemic likely to cause long-term health problems, Yale School of Public Health finds
The coronavirus pandemic's life-altering effects are likely to result in lasting physical and mental health consequences for many people--particularly those from vulnerable populations--a new study led by the Yale School of Public Health finds.

The Lancet Public Health: US modelling study estimates impact of school closures for COVID-19 on US health-care workforce and associated mortality
US policymakers considering physical distancing measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 face a difficult trade-off between closing schools to reduce transmission and new cases, and potential health-care worker absenteeism due to additional childcare needs that could ultimately increase mortality from COVID-19, according to new modelling research published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

The Lancet Public Health: Access to identification documents reflecting gender identity may improve trans mental health
Results from a survey of over 20,000 American trans adults suggest that having access to identification documents which reflect their identified gender helps to improve their mental health and may reduce suicidal thoughts, according to a study published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

The Lancet Public Health: Study estimates mental health impact of welfare reform, Universal Credit, in Great Britain
The 2013 Universal Credit welfare reform appears to have led to an increase in the prevalence of psychological distress among unemployed recipients, according to a nationally representative study following more than 52,000 working-age individuals from England, Wales, and Scotland over nine years between 2009-2018, published as part of an issue of The Lancet Public Health journal on income and health.

BU researchers: Pornography is not a 'public health crisis'
Researchers from the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) have written an editorial in the American Journal of Public Health special February issue arguing against the claim that pornography is a public health crisis, and explaining why such a claim actually endangers the health of the public.

The Lancet Public Health: Ageism linked to poorer health in older people in England
Ageism may be linked with poorer health in older people in England, according to an observational study of over 7,500 people aged over 50 published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

Study: Public transportation use linked to better public health
Promoting robust public transportation systems may come with a bonus for public health -- lower obesity rates.

Read More: Public Health News and Public Health Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to