Forty Communities Receive Grants To Promote Healthy Communities

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Association of County and City Health Officials, National Association of Chronic Disease Directors, National Recreation and Park Association, and YMCA of the USA partner on ACHIEVE

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Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) February 5, 2010

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD), the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), and the YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) are announcing 40 U.S. communities that have been selected in 23 states and in one territory to advance the nation’s efforts to prevent chronic diseases and related risk factors through a locally collaborative approach. This approach, called Action Communities for Health, Innovation, and EnVironmental changE (ACHIEVE), is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Healthy Communities Program and receives technical assistance from the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE).    

ACHIEVE’s mission is to bring together local leaders from various sectors to build healthier communities by promoting policy, systems, and environmental change strategies that focus on physical activity, nutrition, tobacco cessation, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. These community stakeholders represent local elected officials, city and county health officials, tribal programs, parks and recreation departments, local YMCAs, health-related coalitions, and education, business, health, planning, and transportation sectors.

State departments of health may also provide resources and information as well as linkages to other collaborators to help communities meet their goals. ACHIEVE recognizes the roles of these institutions as trusted community allies and aims to combine public health expertise from the state and local levels with the experience of the YMCA and local parks and recreation departments with expertise in providing community support and outreach.

ACHIEVE is an innovative approach that brings together all sectors of a community to spur policy change toward prevention of chronic diseases. The 2010 ACHIEVE communities will build on the successes of the 2009 and 2008 ACHIEVE communities. The ACHIEVE approach promotes health through such improvements as safe locations for physical activity and increased access to healthy food options such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains at schools, worksites, places of worship and in the general community, among others.

"The CDC is pleased to work alongside and support the efforts of the ACHIEVE national partners to make sustainable and positive community changes towards establishing healthy environments” said Dr. Wayne Giles, Director, CDC’s Division of Adult and Community Health. “Promoting healthier lifestyles and supporting healthy communities will help us meet our goal of reducing chronic diseases. Through community action and partnerships, we can create a synergy that assists people in making healthy choices where they live, learn, work and play.”

The communities applied for this program and were selected after a competitive review process that included 213 applications. Grant funding will be distributed among the teams to encourage attendance at leadership conferences, including an Action Institute where community leaders can learn about effective strategies to design, implement and effect community change.

What’s Next for ACHIEVE teams:
Local community members should immediately begin to assemble teams consisting of 10 local leaders. Each team should include representatives from the following categories: elected officials; state and local directors of public health organizations; business leaders from various industries; and leaders of local schools, parks and recreation departments, hospitals, and other community organizations. Teams should plan to convene at one of two regional Action Institutes in Tampa, Florida or San Diego, California, in June 2010. Nationally-known experts will be on site at each of these Institutes to teach participants how to effect healthy changes in their communities.

For a complete listing of all funded communities, please visit the ACHIEVE Web site at http://www.achievecommunities.org or CDC’s Healthy Communities Program’s Web site at http://www.cdc.gov/healthycommunitiesprogram.

CONTACTS:
Becky Wexler
NACCHO
301.652.1558    
bwexler(at)burnesscommunications(dot)com     

Amy Kapp
NRPA
703.858.2151    
akapp(at)nrpa(dot)org

Kelly Kennai
YMCA of the USA
202.835.9043
kelly(dot)kennai(at)ymca(dot)net

Jennie Hefelfinger
NACDD
850.545.9019
hefelfinger(at)chronicdisease(dot)org

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