SARANAC LAKE — The Heart Network has received a five-year grant from the New York State Department of Health to continue its Creating Healthy Schools & Communities (CHSC) program.

The goal of CHSC is to increase access to healthy food and opportunities for physical activity.

The new $1.5 million grant will allow the Heart Network to add three new communities to it’s agenda: Tupper Lake, Saranac Lake and Chateaugay. Existing community partners include Brushton-Moira, Salmon River, Malone and Waverly, a news release said.

The Heart Network will also add an early childhood component to its focus areas going forward. Through a partnership with the Child Care Coordinating Council of the North Country, the CHSC program will engage with providers in Franklin County to adopt policies and practices that promote nutrition and physical activity for young children.

“Local and national research overwhelmingly shows that investing in the lives of young children is one of the most effective ways to improve physical and mental health outcomes later in life,” Jamie Basiliere, executive director of the Child Care Coordinating Council, said,

“Expanding the focus of the CHSC program to include the youngest segment of our population will no doubt pay dividends for this work.”

“Over the last five years, our CHSC program has been successful in developing initiatives that support general health and well being in school and community settings,” Ann Morgan, executive director of the Heart Network, said.

“From school breakfast programs and community gardens to improved pedestrian and bicycle safety, we’ve made a lot of progress — and projects like the Mobile Farmers Market show that innovative ideas and collaborations can benefit people who have limited access to healthy foods. We’re excited to continue this important work.”

CHSC community projects over the next five years include:

In addition to CHSC, the Heart Network also administers the Health Systems for a Tobacco Free North Country program, which focuses on advancing health care providers’ efforts at identifying and treating nicotine addiction among their patients in both medical and behavioral health settings, and the North Country Chronic Disease Prevention Coalition, a network of healthcare providers, community-based organizations,and other regional stakeholders working to replicate and expand evidence-based diabetes prevention programs across the North Country.

To learn more about CHSC, contact Andrea Goff at [email protected] or (518) 891-5855 ext. 3. To learn more about the Heart Network, visit



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