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Rural Health Information Hub

Seneca Towns Engaging People for Solutions

  • Program Representative Interviewed: Theresa Lahr, Project Assessment Coordinator
  • Location: Ovid, New York
  • Program Overview: Seneca Towns Engaging People for Solutions (STEPS) is a project of the S2AY Rural Health Network, a partnership of 7 local health departments in the rural Finger Lakes counties of New York. STEPS uses an Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) approach to address the SDOH, focusing on 3 areas:
    • Improving the physical environment
    • Increasing economic and educational opportunities for residents
    • Improving personal health and wellness
    STEPS employs asset mapping and community building strategies to identify key strengths in its four towns that can be leveraged to address SDOH. Through this framework, STEPS engages community members as the drivers of local projects. This approach allows STEPS to support locally defined needs by connecting residents and other stakeholders and securing buy-in for strong community partnerships.

    Pulling from local assets, STEPS collaborates with schools, libraries, and other community partners to carry out health-related improvement projects. For example, through its Communiversity, STEPS facilitates skill-sharing workshops taught by community members in all three focus areas. Other projects utilizing the ABCD model include the development of community gardens, youth civic engagement, and a community business mentor program.

Models represented by this program: