Funding Opportunities- September 5, 2014

NWHF Funding Opportunity
Northwest Health Foundation’s Healthy Beginnings+Healthy Communities Initiative will help communities improve health, from birth to high school, by 2020. Funding opportunities for Oregon and SW Washington communities available here:

Announcement: New Funding Opportunity for Health Impact Assessment Capacity Building
ASTHO, through funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Environmental Health, Healthy Community Design Initiative (CDC/NCEH/HCDI),  is pleased release an opportunity to build state and territorial health agency capacity to understand, conduct, and promote HIA. Two awards of up to $15,000 each will be available to fund and support a state or territorial health agency to conduct a rapid HIA on a proposed project, program, or policy targeting transportation, land use, community design, parks and recreation, or energy. The full RFP can be found on ASTHO’s HIA website.
08/26/14: RFP released
09/04/14: Bidder’s informational call
09/30/14: Deadline for submission of grant proposals
10/10/14: Contract award announced
10/20/14: Project commencement
6/30/15: Project ends
7/31/15: Final report due

As noted above, an informational conference call will be held on September 4 at 1:00pm ET for interested applicants. If you have questions or would like details for the informational call, please email   




Training Opportunities- September 5, 2014

The Oregon Arthritis Program and OSU Extension will be holding two more free in-person trainings for Walk With Ease Group Leaders
9/19 – Portland Community College, Portland
10/3 – Oregon State University, Corvallis
All trainings are 9a-2p. Lunch will be provided.
To register, please go to:
You can learn more about the Walk With Ease program at

Tackling Health Related Barriers to Learning: State Approaches to Asthma Management in Schools, September 18, 2:00PM
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

This webinar will feature the leadership and innovative work of two state health departments to strengthen the management of asthma in schools. Asthma is one of the most common chronic health conditions for students and a leading cause of school absenteeism. Panelists from the New Mexico and New York State Departments of Health will share processes and outcomes that have been a part of their asthma initiatives, with a focus on interventions for schools to identify and track students with asthma, implement asthma action plans, and coordinate care with medical providers. The webinar will highlight the partnerships and collaborations that have been key to broadening the impact of the state health department in this area. Domain #4: Community-Clinical Linkages

Grantees – Please consult with your liaison regarding questions about the appropriateness of attending any training or conference using TPEP or Healthy Communities funds. This list of training opportunities is provided as a resource for grantees and partners but is not an endorsement of any training or conference hosted by an external organization

Tobacco- September 5, 2014

CVS quits for good

CVS Health announces end to tobacco sales
In terrific news for public health and tobacco control, CVS announced today that it has ended tobacco sales at its 7,700 retail pharmacies, nearly a month ahead of its target date of October 1.  CVS also announced that it is launching a smoking cessation campaign to help Americans quit smoking.  In addition, CVS Caremark Corporation announced that it is changing its corporate name to CVS Health to reflect its broader health care commitment and expertise.
CVS has also launched a social media campaign – #OneGoodReason – in which they are inviting everyone to share their personal stories of how smoking and tobacco use has affected their lives and why they live tobacco-free.   You can support CVS by participating in the campaign and stating  your #OneGoodReason on social media channels.

Here are 5 ways you can get involved in the #OneGoodReason campaign:

  1. Using the template attached to this email, create your #OneGoodReason to live tobacco-free, and share on your social channels.
  2. Take your own photo of your #OneGoodReason to live tobacco-free, and share on your social channels.
  3. Create a video with your #OneGoodReason to live tobacco-free and upload to CVS’s online hub here:
  4. Share CVS’s social posts, and include your #OneGoodReason (via @CVSinAction and @CVS_Extra on Twitter and on Facebook).
  5.  Encourage your community to share their #OneGoodReason. Example Posts:
    1. Facebook: Whether you quit smoking, never started or helped someone quit – whatever your reason, we’re sure it’s a good one! Stand with us and CVS Health and tell us your #OneGoodReason to live tobacco-free
    2. Twitter: Stand with us and CVS Health and share your #OneGoodReason to live tobacco-free.

Here is a press statement by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, as well as CVS Health’s press release.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:           September 3, 2014
CONTACT:           Peter Hamm, 202-296-5469

Other Retailers Should Follow CVS Health’s Bold Example by Ending Sales of Tobacco Products
Statement of Matthew L. Myers
President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
WASHINGTON, DC – CVS Health’s announcement today that it has ended tobacco sales sends a resounding message to the entire retail industry: Responsible retailers – especially those that provide health care through pharmacies and clinics – should not be in the business of selling cigarettes and other tobacco products. There is a fundamental conflict between promoting health and selling tobacco products, which are the number one cause of preventable death.  Retailers cannot have it both ways.
Today, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids calls on all retailers, especially those involved in health care, to follow the powerful example set by CVS Health and end tobacco sales.  If they are truly committed to improving health, retailers such as Walmart, Walgreens and Rite Aid must stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products.
We also urge consumers to support retailers such as CVS that have demonstrated their commitment to health by choosing not to sell tobacco products. By ending tobacco sales, CVS Health has shown that it truly cares about the health of its customers and the communities where it does business.
The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids applauds CVS Health for its courageous leadership in ending tobacco sales at its 7,700 retail pharmacies.  This decision will reduce the availability of tobacco products and sends an unmistakable message to all Americans, especially children, that tobacco use is uniquely harmful and socially unacceptable.  We also applaud CVS Health for launching a new smoking cessation campaign to help Americans quit smoking.
CVS Health’s decision represents the bold action needed from all segments of our society to accelerate progress against tobacco and make the next generation tobacco-free.  It comes appropriately as the nation this year marks the 50th anniversary of the first Surgeon General’s report on smoking and health.
The latest Surgeon General’s report, released in January, reported that smoking kills 480,000 Americans annually, sickens millions more and costs the nation more than $289 billion in health care expenses and economic costs every year.  The Surgeon General also underscored that tobacco use is first and foremost a pediatric epidemic – 90 percent of adult smokers began at or before age 18, and 5.6 million kids alive today will die prematurely from smoking-caused disease unless current trends are reversed.  Responsible retailers should not be selling products that cause so much harm to our nation’s children and health.


Reports and Articles

A Molecular Basis for Nicotine as a Gateway Drug
NEJM: September 4, 2014
This article describes how “nicotine acts as a gateway drug on the brain, and this effect is likely to occur whether the exposure is from smoking tobacco, passive tobacco smoke, or e-cigarettes.” It concludes that “more effective prevention programs need to be developed for all the products that contain nicotine, especially those targeting young people.”

CDC study finds more than a quarter-million youth who had never smoked a cigarette have tried e-cigarettes
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-authored study* found that in 2013, 263,000 young people who had never smoked had used e-cigarettes, compared with 79,000 in 2011. For the study, CDC researchers analyzed data from the 2011, 2012, and 2013 National Youth Tobacco Surveys of middle and high school students to assess associations between e-cigarette use and smoking intentions among U.S. youth who had never smoked conventional cigarettes.
For this analysis, researchers used established methods to identify youth who are classified as having smoking intentions. Youth who reported they would definitely not smoke in the next year and reported they would definitely not smoke if offered a cigarette by a friend were defined as not having an intention to smoke. All others were classified as having positive intention to smoke conventional cigarettes. Previous research has demonstrated that these youth are more likely to initiate smoking in the future.

White House Proclamation Marks National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
On August 29, President Barack Obama signed a proclamation designating September 2014 as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. The proclamation references a number of national childhood obesity reduction initiatives, including recently updated nutrition standards for all foods and beverages sold and served in schools, as well as an expansion of the Community Eligibility Option under which 22,000 schools in low-income communities will be able to serve free meals to all students.

Governor John Kitzhaber makes good on cigarette tax support

Linn County fiscal year-end report showed that 17 percent of deaths were tobacco related, 11 percent diabetes related: Albany Democrat-Herald:

CDC: E-cigarettes lead to more teen smoking – More than 263,000 adolescents who had never smoked before used e-cigarettes in 2013, up from 79,000 in 2011: The Washington Post:

Possibly banning smoking on local beaches because of cigarette butts made the ear wonder if the little nuisances can be recycled. Yes, they can: The Daily Astorian:

Healthy Communities- September 5, 2014

Healthy Communities
Place Matters OregonCheck out the Place Matters Oregon Facebook Page and click “Like” to be in the know about Oregon’s upcoming Place Matter Conference in November, 2014! This will be a great way for you to stay in “the know” about healthy options and policy change statewide that will help make Oregon a better place to live, work, learn and play!


Free Technical Assistance for Helping Underserved Communities Move More!
The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is offering “free technical assistance to successful applicants working in underserved communities on campaigns to obtain shared use agreements, Complete Streets policies, or other policies in support of walking, bicycling and Safe Routes to School.” SRTS is serving as the content expert for the Voices for Healthy Kids initiative on Active Places. Voices for Healthy Kids is a joint initiative between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Heart Association to engage, organize and mobilize communities to improve their health and reverse the childhood obesity epidemic by 2015.
Technical assistance can range from providing resources, to assisting with the creation of campaign plans and platforms, to developing communications strategies and coaching to ensure a successful campaign. Your plans can either be in the early stages or nearing policy adoption. Successful applicants will receive technical assistance over the next eight months.
Simply describe your community need in detail on the application form provided and SRTS’s staff of experts will assess and work with each successful applicant to help you achieve your goals. Applications are due September 26th, 2014, by 5pm ET.

Exercise is a proven pain reliever
In May and June this year, the Oregon Arthritis Program conducted the Arthritis Pain Reliever Campaign in four counties, Coos, Crook, Union and Morrow, where the prevalence of arthritis is high and availability of physical activity programs is low.  The campaign included distribution of promotional  materials about effectiveness of physical activity programs, such as Walk With Ease (WWE), newspaper articles, radio and TV spots featuring the program, and information about classes that are available or will be offered in the near future.

During the campaign, a number of media outlets carried stories devoted to prevalence of arthritis, positive effects of physical activity and available programs.  A story in Portland Tribune talks about WWE program in Crook County where prevalence of arthritis is higher than the average for Oregon. The story includes an  interview with Crook County Health Department Health Educator and WWE group leader Kris Williams.  Speaking about her experience of leading a WWE class and effectiveness of the program, she said: “I was totally blown away. Everybody increased their stamina by at least a half a lap (around the park) and some by five or six laps. One of the participants no longer needed to use his walking stick. He had better balance, he was able to walk farther, and he was sleeping better.” You can read the full story here:

Release of the 1999-2011 United States Cancer Statistics (USCS)
Web-based Report
United States Cancer Statistics: 1999–2011 Incidence and Mortality Web-based Report. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Cancer Institute; 2014.


  • The Web site provides state-specific and regional data for cancer cases diagnosed and cancer deaths that occurred from 1999 to 2011 and for 2007–2011 combined. The data from 2011 are the most recent year for which incidence data are available.

The USCS contains the official federal statistics on cancer incidence (newly diagnosed cases) from each registry that met data quality criteria. The web-based report contains combined data from CDC’s National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) and the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI’s) Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program. Mortality data from the National Vital Statistics System of CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics are also included.

CDC publishes updated state obesity maps
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) updated maps detailing the prevalence of obesity among U.S. adults for all states and the District of Columbia are now live on the CDC website.  The maps, based on 2013 data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), show obesity remains high.  Three new maps demonstrate obesity prevalence by race and ethnicity for each state.

For additional information on CDC’s work to address overweight and obesity, please visit or contact Jennifer Greaser at

NEW Resource! 2014 School Health Index
Start the school year with ways to help students succeed in the classroom and beyond. Stay tuned to CDC’s Healthy Schools site for new resources, including the updated 2014 School Health Index assessment tool, to help focus on student health as part of making school a good place to learn.

Reports and Articles
Food labels aren’t easy to understand, which makes it hard to pick the best items
The Washington Post: September 1, 2014
You read labels at the supermarket so that you can make the healthiest choices for you and your family. But sometimes you get stumped: How do you decide between a container of pasta sauce with “reduced sodium” and another that’s labeled “low sodium”?

Here’s a guide to help you tell the difference between some similar-sounding label claims and ingredients that can trip you up.

Childhood trauma could lead to adult obesity
MNT: September 3, 2014
Being subjected to abuse during childhood entails a markedly increased risk of developing obesity as an adult. This is the conclusion of a meta-analysis carried out on previous studies, which included a total of 112,000 participants. The analysis was conducted by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, and has been published in the journal Obesity Reviews.

“The study clearly shows that difficult life events leave traces which can manifest as disease much later in life. The mechanisms behind this process include stress, negative patterns of thought and emotions, poor mental health, increased inflammation, as well as lowered immune function and metabolism,” says Erik Hemmingsson, researcher at the Huddinge Department of Medicine at Karolinska Institutet, who is also linked to the Karolinska University Hospital’s Obesity Centre in Huddinge, Stockholm County.

Obesity Is A Big Contributor To Diabetes Boom
TIME: September 1, 2014
Diabetes is one of the most common diseases in the U.S., and there’s a single biggest culprit to blame, found a new study released today in Annals of Internal Medicine: our ever-increasing body mass index, or BMI.
The team analyzed data from five National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys of a nationally representative U.S. sample of 23,932 people. They found that the prevalence of diabetes almost doubled from 1976 to 1980 as well as from 1999 to 2004.

Consumption of energy drinks can increase risk for heart problems
MNT: September 3, 2014
Energy drinks can cause heart problems according to research presented at ESC Congress 2014 by Professor Milou-Daniel Drici from France.Professor Drici said: “So-called ‘energy drinks’ are popular in dance clubs and during physical exercise, with people sometimes consuming a number of drinks one after the other. This situation can lead to a number of adverse conditions including angina, cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and even sudden death.”
He added: “Around 96% of these drinks contain caffeine, with a typical 0.25 litre can holding 2 espressos worth of caffeine. Caffeine is one of the most potent agonists of the ryanodine receptors and leads to a massive release of calcium within cardiac cells. This can cause arrhythmias, but also has effects on the heart’s abilities to contract and to use oxygen. In addition, 52% of drinks contain taurine, 33% have glucuronolactone and two-thirds contain vitamins.”
Someone applies sun cream

Skin cancer hospital admissions leap by 40% in five years
theguardian: September 1, 2014
The number of people admitted to hospital for skin cancer has increased by 41% in just five years, new figures show.
There has been a significant rise in admissions for skin cancers, which are largely preventable, the British Association of Dermatologists said.
The data, which will be presented at the world congress on cancers of the skin in Edinburgh later this week, show that admissions to English hospitals for both non-melanoma skin cancer and malignant melanoma rose from 87,685 in 2007 to 123,808 in 2011.
The figures, collated by researchers at Public Health England, do not include skin cancer sufferers treated as day patients.

‘Drink responsibly’ messages in alcohol ads promote products, not public health
Medical Press: September 3, 2014
Alcohol industry magazine ads reminding consumers to “drink responsibly” or “enjoy in moderation” fail to convey basic public health information, according to a new study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
A report on the research, published in the September issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence, analyzed all alcohol ads that appeared in U.S. magazines from 2008 to 2010 to determine whether messages about responsibility define responsible drinkingor provide clear warnings about the risks associated with alcohol consumption.

You are in control of some of the best tools for preventing colon cancer: what you eat and how much you exercise
Statesman Journal

Focus on eating habits – Higher scores (on healthy eating index) mean greater intake of heart-healthy foods including vegetables, fruits, whole grains and healthy fats, and a high score means a low risk of obesity and chronic illnesses including heart disease, stroke and diabetes: Associated Press (appears in the Oregonian):

Reducing carbs may be better for your heart than reducing fat. Nearly 27 million Americans have heart disease, and about 600,000 die from it every year – more than from any other cause: The Washington Post:

Training Opportunities- August 29, 2014

Solving Obesity: Everyone’s Issue – A Workshop – September 30, 2014
Please join the Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Obesity Solutions on September 30th, 2014 for a public workshop on Cross-Sector Work on Obesity Prevention, Treatment, and Weight Maintenance: Models for Change.
The registration cap has been expanded, register to attend the workshop at the National Academy of Sciences Building in Washington, D.C. or via live webcast.

ASTHO Webinar: Leveraging the HealthLead™ Assessment to Enhance Best Practices in Worksite Wellness, September 23, 2014 1:00 PM – 2:00PM EST
This webinar will highlight successful strategies and best practices that have been implemented in the North Dakota and Oklahoma state health agencies to improve the quality of their worksite wellness programs.  In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will describe their experience going through the HealthLead™ Accreditation process.  The speakers will also address the challenges they faced while completing the assessment tool and share strategies they used to improve their scores and programs. Register Here 

The Power of Communication:  Empowering and Engaging Patients as Partners in Managing Care Decisions, September 19,12:00 pm ET
Click here to register.
While there are many paths to better health, something as simple as a conversation can lead to improved patient outcomes. The Alliance to Reduce Disparities in Diabetes health care delivery sites have piloted new ways to improve patient outcomes using shared-decision making, culturally-relevant interventions and other techniques to better communicate with patients and empower them to be an active participant in their care. These techniques can lead to measurable improvements in health outcomes and enhanced efficiency in healthcare delivery. To register for the webinar, click here

Final Healthy Beginnings+Healthy Communities Outreach Sessions
Please join us for one of our three final Healthy Beginnings+Healthy Communities Initiative Outreach Sessions. Register Here

September 15, 2014 2:00 PM EDT – Promoting Behavioral Health Equity through the California Reducing Disparities Project and Office of Health Equity
This webinar will discuss the policy levers and partnerships that support the California Office of Health Equity and their California Reducing Disparities Project as well as the strategies, resources and tools implemented through the California Reducing Disparities Project to promote health equity in the state of California.
To read more about this webcast, please click HERE.

As many of you are aware, the former Oregon Living Well Network has recently expanded to become the Oregon Self-Management Network.
As part of this transition, the full Network will continue to meet quarterly by phone and annually in person. The Network’s next quarterly phone conference is next Thursday, September 4 at 10-11:30 AM.
An executive summary and full meeting notes from the June 10 Network Business Meeting are now available online. OHA staff contact:
Based on member feedback, Network  workgroup structure is changing. Workgroups are getting up and running this month and next, and will be staffed by OHA in partnership with Network Steering Committee members. Call-in information will be sent via this listserv

  • Quality Assurance/Fidelity/Data/Metrics workgroup: next meeting is Monday, October 20 at 1-2 PM.
    OHA staff contact:
    Steering committee members: Libby Kennard
  • Participant Recruitment & Leader Engagement workgroup: next meeting TBD (mid/late September).
    OHA staff contact:
    Steering committee members: Kathy Hayden, Katia Ariceaga

Grantees – Please consult with your liaison regarding questions about the appropriateness of attending any training or conference using TPEP or Healthy Communities funds. This list of training opportunities is provided as a resource for grantees and partners but is not an endorsement of any training or conference hosted by an external organization

Tobacco- August 29, 2014

Reports and Articles

ecigban American Cancer Society dings Oregon for tobacco and anti-cancer policies
Portland Business Journal: August 19, 2014
Oregon’s tobacco control policies and cancer-fighting measures come under firein a new report issued by the American Cancer Society.
It says Oregon is falling short in areas like tobacco taxes, tobacco prevention efforts, restrictions on indoor tanning devices and funding of breast and cervical cancer screening. (A separate report earlier this week indicated Oregon has made progress in reducing tobacco sales to youths).
The report by the ACS’ Cancer Action Network, the advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, concludes that Oregon measured up to benchmarks in only 3 of the 12 measured areas.
The findings are included in a new report called “How Do You Measure Up?: A Progress Report on State Legislative Activity to Reduce Cancer Incidence and Mortality.”

World Health Organization Urges Stronger Regulation of Electronic Cigarettes
The New York Times: August 26, 2014
PARIS — Governments should ban the use of electronic cigarettes in public places and outlaw tactics to lure young users, the World Health Organization said in a report released on Tuesday that calls for some of the toughest measures yet proposed for the increasingly popular devices.It also expressed “grave concern” about the growing role of the powerful tobacco industry in the e-cigarette market, warning that the financially powerful companies could come to dominate the new business and use the current tolerance of the new products as a gateway to ensnaring a new generation of smokers at a time when the public health authorities seem to be winning the battle against tobacco

After leading nation in tobacco sales to kids, Oregon finds a fix
Portland Business Journal: August 19, 2014
For the first time in several years, Oregon has made big strides in reducing tobacco sales to minors.
The retailer violation rate for sales to kids hit 16.3 percent in the past year, down from 22.5 percent the year before, when it was the highest in the country, according to the Oregon Health Authority. Out of 835 attempted buys, 136 were successful.
Oregon’s rate peaked in 1995-96, at 39.3 percent, and has hovered in the teens, for the most part, since 1998.
Even with the recent decrease, Oregon’s rate likely remains among the highest in the country. The national average last year was 9.6 percent, according to a new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

CDC: More than a Quarter-Million Youth Who Never Smoked Used E-Cigarettes in 2013
More than a quarter-million middle school and high school students who had never smoked regular cigarettes used electronic cigarettes—or e-cigarettes—in 2013, according to a new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study appearing in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research. The study found that youth who had never smoked traditional cigarettes, but had tried e-cigarettes, were twice as likely to intend to smoke traditional cigarettes than were youth who had never used e-cigarettes. “We are very concerned about nicotine use among our youth, regardless of whether it comes from conventional cigarettes, e-cigarettes or other tobacco products. Not only is nicotine highly addictive, it can harm adolescent brain development.” said Tim McAfee, MD, MPH, Director of CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, in a release. Read more on tobacco.

Healthy Communities- August 29, 2014

Healthy Communities
safe routes to school

Promoting Health in Schools: Fire Up Your Feet!
For those public health partners who are working with or have connections with school partners, please help spread the word about Fire Up Your Feet, which is inspiring active trips to school across the nation. This fall, Fire Up Your Feet is awarding more than $100,000 to K-8 schools across the country to support Safe Routes to School and other health and wellness programs. With awards in several categories, schools have even more chances to win.


Health Equity Resource Tool Kit
The tool kit helps public health practitioners take a systematic approach to program planning by using a health equity focus. It provides a six-step process for planning, implementing, and evaluating strategies to address obesity disparities. The article can be found online:

CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control Launches Facebook page
CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control recently launched a Facebook page about breast cancer. It’s a great place for public health partners, health care providers, survivors, and other interested people to talk about breast cancer with CDC experts.

Nutrition and Physical Activity Training for Healthcare Providers (and a cool infographic)
According to a recent report released by the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, and the American College of Sports Medicine, less than one quarter of physicians feel they received adequate training to counseling their patients on physical activity and nutrition, as well as managing diabetes and other chronic diseases. Several studies have shown that when counseled by their provider to lose weight, patients are more likely to attempt weight loss and increase their physical activity. Yet, less than 13% of medical visits include counseling for nutrition.
There are several strategies for increasing training in these areas, such as developing a standard nutrition and physical activity curriculum in schools and including more of this content in licensing and certification exams. Some initiatives have already begun to increase training in these areas, but there is still a need to broaden awareness for more changes in medical education.

Active Living Research’s “Mejorar Comunidades Mueve la Gente”
ALR’s Changing Communities Gets People Moving infographic has now been translated into Spanish! This infographic can be downloaded for free in JPG format (517 KB) by clicking on the image or the “Download Original” link. A high resolution PDF version (3.88 MB) of this infographic is also available from ALR upon request.
Communities across the nation are doing more to ensure that streets, sidewalks, schools, and parks support walking, biking, and playing. The infographic highlights several studies which evaluated changes in physical activity after the implementation of built environment and programmatic modifications in different cities. For example, children are more likely to walk or bike to school when there are quality streets and crosswalks, and programs that promote safety; existence of bike lanes is related to higher rates of cycling; and the presence of recreational facilities close to home encourages more physical activity. Free, full text access to the four studies included in this infographic are available:

Reports and Articles

Remarkable Collaboration Nets over $4 Million for Local Health Improvement
By InterCommunity Health Network Coordinated Care Organization
Thanks to the joint efforts of health departments from Benton, Lincoln and Linn Counties, along with InterCommunity Health Network Coordinated Care Organization (IHN-CCO), local communities will reap the benefits of over $4 million in grant funding received to date to support a regional approach for health improvement.
Working under the title of Regional Healthy Communities Steering Committee, this unique partnership has brought together a diverse group of public and private organizations that support the health of local residents across the three counties. In addition to the counties and IHN-CCO, committee membership ranges from community and faith-based groups to providers, educators, tribal organizations, health equity concerns, and neighborhood housing amongst others.

From RWJF: The Walking School Bus: A Safe and Active Way to Get Kids to School
With research indicating that fewer children are walking or biking to school than in decades past—and with the childhood obesity epidemic in full swing—health experts have been brainstorming solutions that would address both issues. In recent years, a simple but effective concept has been gaining traction at the grass-roots level: Why not organize a “Walking School Bus”—a group of kids who walk to school with one or more adults, so that kids can get exercise on their way to and from school?

A Walking School Bus is “just like a regular school bus, but without the walls and seats, and instead of wheels, we use our feet,” explained LeeAnne Fergason, education director for the Bicycle Transportation Alliance in Portland, Ore., which has a thriving Walking School Bus program. Other communities around the country that have well-established…[read more at RWJF]

Street networks tied to obesity, diabetes rates in study
Research published in the Journal of Transport & Health found cities with a more compact street network had reduced rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure, while wider streets and more lanes were tied to higher disease levels. “This research is one more in a long line that demonstrates the myriad advantages of fostering walkable places,” said researcher Norman Garrick. The Atlantic online (
Lack of Exercise, Not Diet, Linked to Rise in Obesity, Stanford Research Shows (Stanford Med News Center, July 7, 2014)
An examination of national health survey results suggests that inactivity, rather than higher calorie intake, could be driving the surge in obesity. Examining national health survey results from 1988 through 2010, the researchers found huge increases in both obesity and inactivity, but not in the overall number of calories consumed. “What struck us the most was just how dramatic the change in leisure-time physical activity was,” said Uri Ladabaum, MD, associate professor of gastroenterology and lead author of the study. “Although we cannot draw conclusions about cause and effect from our study, our findings support the notion that exercise and physical activity are important determinants of the trends in obesity.” The study is published in the August issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

Dense Downtowns Propel Greater Levels of Walking
Central business districts and urban growth boundaries can help create denser, more vibrant, more economically efficient – and healthier – communities. Recent research published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine revealed that each one-mile increase in distance from the Urban Development Boundary corresponded to an 11 percent increase in the number of minutes of purposive walking (walking to get from place to place, such as from home to the corner store), whereas each one-mile increase in distance from the urban core corresponded to a five percent decrease in the amount of purposive walking.
The farther away from the downtown core people moved, the less they walked. Study participants were 400 newly arrived Cuban immigrants. All were healthy and at least 70 percent reported being physically active in Cuba, either walking or cycling. But after a few weeks in the U.S., those immigrants living closest to the Urban Development Boundary were already less likely to walk than those living closer to downtown Miami.

RWJF’s Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities program evaluates 1,264 policy and environmental changes across the U.S.
Three new reports and resources from Active Living By Design, acting as the umbrella organization for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s HKHC Program, share key takeaways and lessons learned from the Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities program, a $33.4 million investment of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to reduce childhood obesity by supporting partnerships and initiatives in 49 communities across the country. The communities documented a total of 1,264 policy and environmental changes in those communities between 2008 and 2014, with the goal of “transforming the physical activity and food environments in which children and their families live, learn and play.”