243992 Building blocks for community change and health improvement

Monday, October 31, 2011

Tracy L. Wiedt, MPH , Organizational and Community Change, YMCA of the USA, Washington, DC
Monica Hobbs Vinluan , Organizational and Community Change, YMCA of the USA, Washington, DC
From its inception in 2004, Y-USA's: Pioneering Healthier Communities (PHC) empowers local communities with proven strategies and models that allows them to create and sustain positive, lasting change around health living. This session will describe Y-USA's 3 national initiatives: PHC, Action Communities for Health, Innovation, and EnVironmental ChangE (ACHIEVE) and Statewide PHC. Funded by CDC and RWJF, these initiatives provide Ys and their communities resources that propel the formation of diverse, cross-sectoral community leadership teams dedicated to making the health choice the defaulted easy choice.

Community teams are comprised of leadership from Ys and other organizations such as schools, hospitals, businesses, community foundations, faith communities, public health, health care purchasers, faith-based groups, and government and academic institutions, and the initiatives aim are to: (1) raise the visibility of healthy eating, physical activity and obesity issues in the national policy debate, and (2) encourage and support local communities in developing more effective policy and environmental strategies to promote healthy eating, physical activity and obesity. To date, 190 Ys and their community teams have taken on the challenge of improving the health of their communities through policy and environmental changes strategies.

These teams have created Community Action Plans to bring about change in their own communities, utilizing their assets and a grassroots process to address selected priorities. Using a distributive leadership model, these teams have an opportunity to collectively influence opportunities for community members to be healthier through the planning and implementation of evidence based strategies that influence policies and environmental changes.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
List the 3 major healthier community initiatives that are making policy and environmental changes in communities throughout the country. Articulate the healthier communitiesí model being implemented by Ys in communities across the country. Identify strategies communities can use to improve the health of their communities.

Keywords: Community Assets, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have overseen the development and creation of 3 community based initiatives, which have been modeled after and replicated in the CPPW initiative. We have lessons that can be shared with communities so they can learn from and potentially replicate in their communities.
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.