Online Program

Healthy Maine streets: An innovative partnership led by downtown development districts

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 12:30 p.m. - 12:50 p.m.

Kala E. Ladenheim, PhD, MSPH, CPH, Medical Care Development (MCD) Public Health, Augusta, ME
Anne Ball, Healthy Maine Streets, Maine Downtown Center, Maine Development Foundation, Augusta, ME
Philip DiRusso Jr., MS, Cardiovascular Health Program, MCD Public Health, Augusta, ME
Healthy Maine Streets injects public health into downtown development through small business worksite wellness. Employees of small businesses have limited access to worksite wellness because of problems of cost and scale. A community-based microwellness pilot in rural Maine successfully engaged very small workplaces in shared activities. Participation was enthusiastic once the public health partner reduced access barriers. In the most successful location, an active downtown development organization recruited participants, broadcast health messages, and collaborated on projects including walking trails and farmers market shares. Healthy Maine Streets, led by the Maine Downtown Center, uses the proven Main Street downtown revitalization framework to take this model to 20 small towns. Wellness is framed as a resource for economic development. Existing downtown organizations organize demand, bringing worksite wellness to downtown small employers as a group. Public health partners --a statewide nonprofit community organization, the state office of Cardiovascular Health and local health, and local wellness organizations --work with a single downtown committee in each town to support worksite wellness for groups of small businesses and leverage community health improvements. Organized as a subcommittee of the downtown organization, small employers use the results of a suite of worksite wellness tools provided by the state to plan evidence-based strategies that can literally revitalize their downtown. They share results of individual worksite environmental assessments, pool individual employee survey results, and work together to help employees and their downtowns access good food, increase physical activity, and reduce tobacco use. Sustainability is intrinsic.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Identify small business groups and geographically defined civic organizations that are potential partners. Design place-based strategies that engage small employers in shared efforts to improve employee health and wellness.

Keyword(s): Worksite, Community-Based Partnership

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator and partnering program manager for this project and co-led the effort to develop and articulate this model for replication.
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.