Healthy Communities – February 11, 2016

February is American Heart Month

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for more than 370,000 deaths each year. While the death rate from heart disease fell about 38 percent from 2003 – 2013, the burden and risk factors remain alarmingly high. February is American Heart Month, an excellent time to teach people that heart disease can often be prevented by making healthy choices and managing their health conditions. The Directors of Health Promotion and Education (DHPE) is supporting the CDC-funded National Implementation and Dissemination Project entitles Partnering4Health to raise awareness about heart disease and increase knowledge about prevention. Sharing this information is important because about 80% of cardiovascular disease can be prevented through everyday healthy living steps, including:

  • not smoking;
  • physical activity;
  • good nutrition;
  • maintaining healthy weight; and
  • controlling blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose levels.

For more information to stay on top of all the heart healthy news, visit To learn more about Partnering4Health, visit, or follow us on Twitter @DHPETweets, and Like us on Facebook.


Million Hearts® in the Community

Did you know high blood pressure could increase your risk for dementia later in life?

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke recently launched Mind Your Risks, an educational campaign to raise awareness about the need to control blood pressure in midlife (from the ages of 45 to 65) to help reduce the risk for stroke and dementia later in life. Visit to learn more about the campaign.

Oregon Safe Routes to School Program: “We’re Here to Help!”

A successful Safe Routes to School Program is a partnership between city and county agencies, schools, community organizations, neighborhoods and schools that work together to create opportunities to make walking and biking to school and throughout the community fun, easy, safe and healthy for all students and their families. Schools and communities have the best chance of success when they combine expertise, resources and program elements that consider the “5 E’s of Safe Routes to School:”  EncouragementEducationEnforcementEngineering and Evaluation.  Oregon’s SRTS shares stories to connect people, schools, communities and resources. Please check out the website and consider signing up to get the e-news. Go to

10 Tired Traffic Myths That Didn’t Get a Rest in 2015 – By Eric Jaffe, from The Atlantic City Lab blog

1.  More roads mean less traffic

2.  More transit means less traffic

3. Bike lanes make traffic worse 

4.  A wider road is a safer road

…[read more]…

Walking as a Practice

America Walks is excited to announce the release of its latest report, “Walking as a Practice.” This report, along with individual case studies, outlines four categories that identify how individuals and organizations across America are engaging in the practice of walking. Written and researched by Jonathon Stalls of Walk2Connect and edited by Ian Thomas, the report looks at the power that comes when we choose to walk. Enjoy and please feel free to share with your networks:


Moving Toward Active Transportation: How Policies Can Encourage Walking and Bicycling

New research review by Active Living Research summarizes current research on the health benefits and safety of active travel.

The Challenge: Few Americans walk or ride a bicycle as a part of their daily routine. Most rely on their automobiles to go to work, shop for groceries, or just get around. As a result, “active travel,” such as walking or biking for routine trips, is not a significant part of daily life for most Americans, providing little, if any, regular physical activity.

Make an impact: Active travel can be a significant source of regular physical activity when built into daily routines, and in most cases, it requires few skills, little extra time, and is inexpensive. Most daily trips are within easy walking or biking distance. What the findings are about: This research review summarizes evidence on the health benefits and safety of active travel, and examines policies and programs that can help increase active travel.

The research review shows that:

  • The health benefits of physical activity in general have been well-documented by hundreds of studies. More recently, a growing number of studies have confirmed that these benefits are linked to walking and cycling specifically.
  • The health benefits of active transportation exceed its risks of injury and exposure to air pollution.
  • Safety is a key consideration for promoting active travel. Importantly, places with higher levels of walking and cycling also have greater safety for pedestrians.
  • Provision of convenient, safe, and connected walking and cycling infrastructure is at the core of promoting active travel.
  • Aside from specific infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians, the way neighborhoods and communities are built affects levels of active travel.
  • Walking or biking for daily travel needs can be promoted as a convenient and competitive option through programs that shift travel behavior.
  • Policies that improve public transport, or make car use less attractive, increase the competitiveness of active travel modes.
  • Policies to promote active travel will work best when implemented in comprehensive packages; these may include infrastructure and facility improvements, pricing policies, and education programs to achieve substantial shifts towards active modes.

Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 released; materials coming out

Are you eager to learn more about the recently released 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans?. Read the new Guidelines online: and keep checking back for staged releases of useful supporting materials. Next month, will feature a suite of free, print-ready materials to help busy professionals like you apply the new Dietary Guidelines in practice. In March 2016, look for a print-friendly PDF of the policy document, healthcare provider handouts, educational materials, infographics, and more.cardiosmart

Guidance on engagement and retention of leaders and participants of self-management programs: Oregon best practices

The Leader Engagement and Participant Access Workgroup of the Oregon Self-Management Network developed the Guidance for coordinators and leaders of self-management programs on leader retention and participant engagement. This guidance presents the experience and best practices in offering self-management programs. Visit the Take Control of Your Health webpage to review the guidance.


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