183332 Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging: The Brazos Valley

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 12:54 PM

Marcia G. Ory, PhD, MPH , Social & Behavioral Health, Texas A&M HSC School of Rural Public Health, College Station, TX
Cathy Liles, MPH , School of Rural Public Health, Texas A&M Health Science Center, College Station, TX
Angela Alaniz, BA , Center for Community Health Development, School of Rural Public Health, College Station, TX
Angie Wade, MPH , Active for Life Learning Network, Texas A&M Health Science Center, College Station, TX
Ronnie Gipson , BVAAA, Bryan, TX
There is growing recognition that bridging smart growth and active aging principles together can create aging friendly communities. This presentation will describe the processes involved in launching the Brazos Valley Building Healthy Communities Coalition (BVBHCC). The EPA's self management assessment and resource tool for Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging was utilized to gauge the status of ongoing plans and activities. Community champions called together a series of community meetings to discuss the broader community's interest in giving priority to this initiative. Attendance was widespread and included representatives from aging services, faith-based groups, health care, community planners, elected officials, academic partners, and others. Having a strong leader in the aging services network that was co-located in the regional planning office was seen as a major community asset. An early decision was made to promote activities on a regional basis and to choose projects to indicate the breadth of activities throughout the county. These included: 1) a community wide-assessment of the health status and activity patterns of residents; 2) a census of available activity programs in the surrounding rural areas; 3) a county wide alternative transportation service; 4) a downtown revitalization district; and 4) a recreation development area. The award process and its successful outcome have galvanized community efforts, with the BVBHCC now designated as a working group under the regional planning authority. Having received a commitment award, the BVCHCC is now eligible for technical assistance which should help expand and institutionalize future activities for promoting a more aging friendly community.

Learning Objectives:
1. Learn steps involved in developing a building healthy communities for active aging coalition 2. Recognize multiple strategies for promoting healthy environments for older adults 3.List five successful strategies for merging smart growth ands active aging principles in a less urban region

Keywords: Aging, Environment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: have been involved in creation of building healthy communities coalition
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

See more of: Environment and Aging
See more of: Gerontological Health