The Health Status of the Near East Side Black Community: Wellness and Neighborhood Conditions

This was the first major study of the health status of Buffalo’s black community, and the first study in Western New York to show a connection between neighborhoods and the social determinants of health. The project was made possible by a unique partnership consisting of the Black Leadership Forum, Kaleida Health, Wegmans, and the UB Center for Research in Primary Care.  The study was anchored by 900 random household surveys and an extensive study of Near East Side neighborhood conditions.  The study not only documented health disparities and showed their relationship to social issues and neighborhood conditions, but also brought to the forefront the importance of wellness as a strategy for addressing health conditions in the black community.  The study thus demonstrated that wellness was critical component community building in the African American community. It concluded by saying “the black community cannot meet the challenges of the ne millennium of its members are unhealthy and die prematurely.”