205892 Tools to Use in Identifying Health Issues for the General Plan

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Avtar K. Nijjer-Sidhu, PhD, RD , Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program, Kern County Department of Public Health, Bakersfield, CA
Keith Woodcock, AICP , City of Delano, Delano, CA
Jennifer Suzanne Lopez , Kern County Network for Children, Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program, Bakersfield, CA
The culturally diverse City of Delano has a population of over 50,000 with over 60 percent minority. With low socio-economic status there are concerns for health disparities. Does the City of Delano have an environment that supports access to healthy food and physical activity?

The Kern County Department of Public Health and the City of Delano have been working together to bring forth health issues in the City's planning process. The first tool utilized was the "Communities of Excellence" an internet-based GIS mapping application that allows data to be collected, but not limited too, nutrition and school health programs, grocery stores, and demographics.

The second tool utilized was a community wide "City Walk". This event was planned for 100 participants but more than 1,500 residents participated. Residents completed a simple walkability survey that was also translated into Spanish. The success of the walk was due to the active role of resident participation who want to become more involved in their City's future efforts.

The third tool initiated was photovoice; an interactive tool that captured the youth's voice through pictures. Over 140 students identified strengths and areas of improvement in their neighborhoods. The narrative descriptions of their pictures created a previously unheard perspective for Delano. The students presented their findings to the City Council which further initiated the discussion of developing a Healthy Communities Element to the City's General Plan.

Learning Objectives:
1. Define the City of Delano and the contect of planning and health issues. 2. Compare three methods (CX3, City Walk, and photovoice) used in Delano to engage residents input to identify health issues. 3. Discuss how to incorporate public health topics into planning and land use decisions.

Keywords: Community Health Planning, Planning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Has been a planner for over 30 years in different cities throughout the Central Valley
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.