Linking Interventions for Total Population Health (LIFT)


FDRHPO has begun work on a new project that aims to curb rates of obesity and diabetes in the North Country.

The efforts are part of a statewide initiative funded by the Department of Health’s “Linking Interventions for Total Population Health” (LIFT) grant. FDRHPO is one of six LIFT grant recipients across New York, responsible for projects in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.

The LIFT grant gives our region a great opportunity to lay plans for a healthier future. FDRHPO and its subcontractors are working hard to ensure that the following three health improvement programs have a lasting positive impact and we are confident that they will. Continue reading to learn about the LIFT’s three-pronged approach for improving total population health:


Schools with comprehensive wellness policies promote healthy eating and physical activity, which helps improve a student’s academic performance, maintain a healthy weight and teach healthy habits for adulthood.

Like with Complete Streets, some North Country schools already have comprehensive wellness policies in place, and others do not. FDRHPO is working with the St. Lawrence Health Initiative and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County to help schools draft and update individualized wellness policies to be approved by their Boards of Education.

The goal is for four additional school districts in the tri-county region to have wellness policies in place by 2020. Although there has been significant progress implementing school wellness policies in districts across the region, consistent promotion and implementation is important. Everyone has a role to play.

Resources for developing and updating wellness policies can be found here.

To learn more and find out how you can support wellness at your local school, contact:

Jefferson/Lewis County:

Cornell Cooperative Extension
April Bennett

St. Lawrence County:

St. Lawrence County Health Initiative
Sarah Bentley-Garfinkel


More than 10 percent of adults living in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties have been diagnosed with diabetes, and many more are living with diabetes or prediabetes but do not know it.

Further more, at least one-third of adults in this same region has at least one of the following chronic diseases — prediabetes, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease or COPD.

In many cases, chronic conditions like these are preventable. In all cases, they can be managed or treated, allowing the individual to live a healthy, fulfilling life.

Our community currently has three types of programs designed to help – a Diabetes Prevention Program, a Diabetes Self-Management Program and a Chronic Disease Self-Management Program.

Using its LIFT grant, FDRHPO will help promote these three programs to the public and ensure that local health care providers are referring patients to them when appropriate. It will also work with insurers to expand payment options and make the programs more affordable for all.

More information about these three programs, including where they are offered in the North Country, is available at


Roughly one-third of North Country residents say they never walk around their neighborhoods — specifically, 31% in Jefferson County, 37% in Lewis, and 32% in St. Lawrence.

To ensure all of our region’s municipalities are walkable and people have an opportunity to be active and connect with their neighbors, FDRHPO is working with local partners to expand Complete Streets policies across our region.

Complete Streets are designed to be safe for users of all ages and abilities, including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users, and motorists. Not all Complete Streets look the same, but some common features include sidewalks, safe road crossings, roundabouts, and bike lanes.

Some communities in the North Country have already adopted Complete Streets policies and begun to implement them in recent construction projects, but many more towns and villages have no Complete Streets policies.

For this portion of the LIFT grant, FDRHPO has subcontracted with the St. Lawrence Health Initiative and the Tug Hill Commission to conduct workshops in communities, identify potential projects and assist with policy adoption.

To learn more and find out how you can support Complete Streets in your community, contact:

Jefferson/Lewis County:

Tug Hill Commission
Jean Waterbury
Phil Street

St. Lawrence County:

St. Lawrence County Health Initiative
Karen Bage

Irene Parobii
Irene Parobii

Want to learn more?

If you have general questions about the LIFT grant or FDRHPO’s chosen interventions, contact Irene Parobii, our Population Health Program Coordinator.


*The project described was supported by Funding Opportunity Number CMS 1G1CMS331402 from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The contents provided are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of HHS or any of its agencies.