225636 Creating healthy communities by building partnerships between local health departments and community organizations

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Joseph W. Thompson, MD, MPH , Arkansas Center for Health Improvement - RWJF Center to Prevent Childhood Obesity, Little Rock, AR
Obesity rates have increased sharply in the United States over the past 30 years, and today nearly one-third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese. Local health officials can play an important role in partnering with local organizations to advocate for and implement policy and environmental changes that will help build healthy communities. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center to Prevent Childhood Obesity is working with multiple partners across the United States to help reverse the childhood obesity epidemic by changing public policies and creating healthier environments in schools and communities - especially those most impacted by this epidemic. Among these partners is the National Association for County and City Health Official's Big Cities Chronic Disease Prevention Community of Practice made up of local health officials that represent the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the United States working to collectively develop and implement policy and environmental change to promote healthy living nationwide. The purpose of this interactive session is to: Highlight the role of public health departments in working with community organizations to improve local nutrition and physical activity environments through policy and environmental changes. Describe the process of building multi-sectoral partnerships and collaboration. Provide examples of promising practices for improving community wellness. Demonstrate the link between federal policy decisions and local implementation. Distinguish between the processes for advocating for institutional or legislative policy changes. Offer evidence and examples supporting the impact of policy and environmental change initiatives on improving health outcomes.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
After attending this session participants will be able to: 1. Identify useful and appropriate roles for public health departments in improving community wellness. 2. List groups from their own communities to engage in planning community wellness initiatives. 3. Describe the components necessary for successfully implementing policy and environmental changes. 4. Recognize the interplay between local and federal policy decisions. 5. Differentiate between institutional and legislative policy change. 6. Describe promising practices that may be replicable in their own communities.

Keywords: Community-Based Partnership, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am the Director of both the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center to Prevent Childhood Obesity, and the Surgeon General of the State of Arkansas, as well as a pediatrician.
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.