240614 Physical Activity — The Role of a Statewide Entity in Advocate Mobilization

Monday, October 31, 2011: 1:42 PM

Katherine Bass, MPH , Center for Prevention, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, Eagan, MN
Michael Huber, MHSA , Center for Prevention, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, Eagan, MN
A private state-level entity sought to broaden the base of support for policy and environmental change to support physical activity in daily living. Over a five-year period, a range of strategies were used to mobilize advocates, including 1) engaging and building partnerships with professional associations across disciplines, 2) recruiting “grasstops” supporters, 3) enhancing local level activities through the provision of funding and technical assistance and 4) developing an electronic communications vehicle to create a sense of community among active living “grassroots” advocates. The combination of strategies has resulted in remarkable progress. In five years, the state has seen: • Adoption of a state Complete Streets policy, regional Complete Streets resolutions, local active living resolutions and Complete Streets policies, and Master Bicycle and Pedestrian Plans • Continuing growth in a statewide network of over 400 professionals across disciplines and sectors engaged in creating more walkable, bikeable communities • Infrastructure improvements including trail development, sidewalks, bike lanes, and crosswalks • Development of state-level active living coalitions of various state public and private organizations Evaluation results suggest that this combination of strategies to support the development of active living leadership at the grasstops and grassroots levels has fostered new relationships and advancement in policy and infrastructure change to support physical activity in daily living. If the goal is the acceleration of policy, systems and environmental change, these are efficacious strategies for any state-level entity, private or public, to apply across a range of health behaviors.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related public policy
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
This session will address the following objectives: 1. Identify key strategies that a state-level entity can employ to integrate a discussion of the health impacts of community design across sectors and disciplines, including transportation, planning, parks and recreation, land development and elected officials. 2. Describe how the provision of training, strategic events and additional capacity at the local level facilitated the development of grassroots corps of supporters. 3. Explain how communications were used to create momentum and normalize efforts to create walkable and bikeable communities. 4. Evaluate the emerging outcomes of this statewide effort, including public-private partnerships, and local- and state-level policy and infrastructure changes that promote active living.

Keywords: Public Health Policy, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have extensive experience related to implementing or providing technical assistance for implementing state and local campaigns around physical activity and active living.
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.