227387 Application of MAPPS strategies in Rural Georgia

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Nannette C. Turner, PhD, MPH , Center for Rural Health and Health Disparities, Mercer University School of Medicine, Macon, GA
Issues-Youth obesity is a national concern. Rural youth may be especially vulnerable due to barriers such as reduced access to nutritious food, lack of available spaces for physical activity. Hancock County, GA is a rural community that has the dubious distinction of being the most obese county in the state of Georgia. In addition, the county has high rates of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Description The Healthy Child Initiative is a Faith-based Advocacy Model designed to impact childhood obesity in rural communities using policy and environmental changes. Rural communities account for more than 54% of Georgia's 159 counties. Poor nutrition and a lack of physical activity results in 300,000 premature deaths each year in the United States. Many communities are largely unaware of the problem; therefore, by galvanizing the faith community to advocate for policy and environmental changes at the grassroots level, the North Central Health Education Taskforce under the leadership of St. Galilee Outreach Ministry, Inc. seeks to tackle childhood obesity and the impending health risks it poses by attacking the problem.

Lessons Learned Although we have garnered written support from our elected officials to assist with environmental improvements and to support local projects such as the farmers market, Safe Routes to Schools sidewalk project and community gardens, we have not been able to get them to officially adopt zoning ordinances and economic development policies. Policy adoption for environmental improvements as well economic development policy moves slowly.

Recommendation- Help the community to mobilize on the grassroots level.

Learning Objectives:
Learners will be able to discuss MAPPS strategy as applied to a nutrition and physical activity initiative in rural Georgia.

Keywords: Faith Community, Community Collaboration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have evaluated the faith and health process for a number of years and work with organizations on a number of programs for various chronic disease prevention through environmental and policy change.
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.