Healthy Communities- August 7th, 2015

physical activity
Combined Physical Activity & Diet Promotion Programs Recommended for Diabetes Prevention and Control
Now published! New recommendations from the Community Preventive Services Task Force support the use of combined physical activity and diet promotion programs in the prevention and control of diabetes.
summary of the findings and one-page facts sheet are available on The Community Guide website.

ChangeLab Solutions Health in All Polices Toolkit From Start to Finish, How to Permanently Improve Government Through Health in All Policies To achieve a healthy community, every part of government has a role to play. That’s the idea behind Health in All Policies: to adopt a collaborative approach to policymaking and improve the health of a community. By recognizing shared goals, collaborating, and coordinating their efforts, public agencies can work with the communities they serve to ensure public policies and public resources address local needs and improve health outcomes. This comprehensive toolkit is intended for anyone interested in building healthier communities through more collaborative and efficient policymaking, and includes best practices and lessons learned from community leaders who are doing exactly that. The toolkit includes the following components:

  1. From Start to Finish: How to Permanently Improve Government Through Health in All Policies This is an introduction to Health in All Policies. It outlines five key strategies for effectively adopting and implementing one of ChangeLab Solutions’ Commitment to Change Model Policies, which formalize a strong Health in All Policies initiative. These five key strategies are: Engage & Envision, Convene & Collaborate, Make a Plan, Invest in Change, and Track Progress.
  2. Commitment to Change: Health in All Policies Model Policies The heart of this toolkit is three model policies (ordinance, resolution, and general plan language) that institutionalize Health in All Policies. They offer policy options for communities at different stages of readiness, or that face different opportunities to create change.
  3. Collaborative Health: A Health in All Policies Presentation This customizable presentation is designed to help make the case for Health in All Policies and build support for an initiative among leaders and community members.

Looking for tips on adapting one of our model policies? Do you have an idea for another resource we should add to this toolkit? Contact ChangeLab Solutions with your stories and questions, and for more ideas on how to achieve your vision of a healthier community!

ChangeLab Solutions creates innovative laws and policies to ensure everyday health for all, whether that’s providing access to affordable, healthy food and beverages, creating safe opportunities for physical activity, or ensuring the freedom to enjoy smokefree air and clean water. Our solutions address all aspects of a just, vital and thriving community, like food, housing, child care, schools, transportation, public safety, jobs, and the environment. Learn how we accomplish this, and contact us to start making change in your community.

A View of Oregon Household Well-Being by Race and Ethnicity
Here is a new fact sheet depicting several key social determinants of health among Oregon households, by race and ethnicity:

CDC Releases New Built Environment Assessment Tool
Determining which tool to use in measuring built environment features often brings local program staff up against the challenges of narrow focus. Some tools look only at walking, others only at older adults. CDC grantees requested better guidance for their programs. Enter the Built Environment Assessment Tool, developed collaboratively by experts in health promotion, injury prevention, and environmental health (among others), the tool is a systematic data collection instrument for measuring core features and quality of the built environment. Questions were adapted from five existing assessment tools to result in a tool that is an update and adaptation of MAPS. The core features assessed in the BE Tool include: built environment infrastructure (e.g., road type, curb cuts/ramps, intersections/ crosswalks, traffic control, transportation), walkability (e.g. sidewalk/path features, walking safety, aesthetics & amenities), bikeability (e.g., bicycle lane/path features), recreational sites and structures, and the food environment (e.g., access to grocery stores, convenience stores, farmers markets, etc.). Additional questions or modules can be added by users if more detail about an aspect of the built environment is desired.

State Cancer Profiles Releases New Data
In June, State Cancer Profiles released new and updated data from a variety of sources. New NCI SEER and CDC NPCR incidence data through 2012 are now available. Also, the National Vital Statistics System provided updated death data through 2012, and Small Area Estimates (SAE) were updated for 2008 to 2010.  Diet and exercise data were added from BRFSS (sponsored by CDC) and smoking law data were updated from the Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights. 2013 HPV vaccination data from the National Immunization Survey were also added. Demographic data from the American Community Survey data were updated for 2009 through 2013 and the Small Area Health Insurance Data were updated through 2013. Finally, prevalence projections were updated to show only the 2015 data.
Visit to take advantage of new and existing data.

Reports and Articles

Public Health in the Precision-Medicine Era
NEJM R. Bayer and S. Galea | N Engl J Med 2015;373:499-501
A clearly-written and persuasive opinion piece in the New England Journal of Medicine that reinforces the public health approach for achieving population health. “The challenge we face to improve population health does not involve the frontiers of science and molecular biology. It entails development of the vision and willingness to address certain persistent social realities, and it requires an unstinting focus on the factors that matter most to the production of population health.”

New research: The link between community and workforce health
The health of an organization’s employees is tied to the health of the overall community in which it operates. Businesses are urged to extend workplace health promotion programs and initiatives beyond their campus walls: what strategies are making an impact?

3 things to learn about public health from around the world
When it comes to bridging health and health care delivery, the U.S. has an opportunity to learn from global innovations linking public health, social services, and health care systems.

Assessing Child Obesity and Physical Activity in a Hard-to-Reach Population in California’s Central Valley, 2012–2013
CDC: Preventing Chronic Disease
In California’s agricultural Central Valley, the rate of childhood obesity is higher than the national average. Adequate physical activity contributes to obesity prevention and its assessment is useful to evaluate the impact of interventions.

community engagement
Community Engagement in Health-Related Research: A Case Study of a Community-Linked Research Infrastructure, Jefferson County, Arkansas, 2011–2013
CDC: Preventing Chronic Disease
Underrepresentation of racial minorities in research contributes to health inequities. Important factors contributing to low levels of research participation include limited access to health care and research opportunities, lack of perceived relevance, power differences, participant burden, and absence of trust. We describe an enhanced model of community engagement in which we developed a community-linked research infrastructure to involve minorities in research both as participants and as partners engaged in issue selection, study design, and implementation

Comprehensive Cancer Control Partners’ Use of and Attitudes About Evidence-Based Practices
CDC: Preventing Chronic Disease
National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program (NCCCP) awardees are encouraged to work with partners (eg, nonprofit organizations) to develop and implement plans to reduce the cancer burden in their jurisdictions using evidence-based practices (EBPs). However, the extent of EBP use among awardees and their partners is not well understood.

Rural Food and Physical Activity Assessment Using an Electronic Tablet-Based Application, New York, 2013–2014
CDC: Preventing Chronic Disease
A community’s built environment can influence health behaviors. Rural populations experience significant health disparities, yet built environment studies in these settings are limited. We used an electronic tablet-based community assessment tool to conduct built environment audits in rural settings. The primary objective of this qualitative study was to evaluate the usefulness of the tool in identifying barriers and facilitators to healthy eating and active living. The second objective was to understand resident perspectives on community features and opportunities for improvement.

Implementing Legislation to Improve Hospital Support of Breastfeeding in New York State
All of New York’s hospitals have now implemented breastfeeding policies that follow the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations, according to a new study published today in Preventing Chronic Disease. The study, funded by PHLR to the NY State Department of Health, reviewed policies from all 129 NY hospitals providing maternity care services. In 2009, none were fully compliant with the WHO recommendations, but by 2013, 97, or 75 percent of the hospitals had compliant hospital breastfeeding policies. And as of April 2014, all 129 hospitals in New York had a fully compliant, approved, written breastfeeding policy in place.

Local Government Planners Can Improve Access to Healthy Food and Increase Physical Activity
Local government planners have historically played an important role in preventing and curbing dangerous health conditions such as cholera, yellow fever and diphtheria. Today, planners have the opportunity to address chronic health issues related to obesity, including coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke.

sodium and children
Reducing Sodium Intake in Children
A new paper published in The Journal of Clinical Hypertension discusses the association of higher sodium intake in children and elevated blood pressure later in life, as well as the benefit of sodium reduction in school meals.

The Community Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force) has released its “2014-2015 Annual Report to Congress and Agencies Related to the Work of the Task Force,” which features prevention of cancers and includes the following:

  • Task Force recommendations about proven means to prevent cancers
  • Summary of gaps in the evidence for preventing cancers along with suggestions for filling those gaps
  • A full list of prevention opportunities reviewed by the Task Force
  • Accomplishments since the last Annual Report to Congress
  • Priorities and plans for future work

Read our feature on The Community Guide website to learn more and to access the 2014-2015 report as well as previous annual reports


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