Residents, stakeholders and program planners: Walk, talk, decide and act together to create a healthier community
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
ISSUE: Healthy communities fully engage a broad range of stakeholders to develop and implement programs and policies that support wellness, prevention and social well-being. This session demonstrates how guided, interactive walking tours in an underserved community used multi-sector engagement to define and develop actionable steps towards a healthier community. APPROACH: Using the lens of TOUCH, a CDC Community Transformation Grant, intergenerational and multi-cultural stakeholders joined in community-focused walking tours to experience, literally from the ground up, the complex interrelationships and influences of the built environment, access to healthy foods, smoking, and prevention of illness, in neighborhood health. These tours used community facilitators to guide participant understanding of walkability/bikeability/wheelchair accessibility, availability of fresh produce, safe, smoke-free parks and community-based health services. Walkers gathered afterwards to share insights and recommendations. Strategies and policies impacting each priority area were vetted with the community for further action. RESULTS: A 2012 walking tour led to a youth-led policy change and capital improvement project ($420,000) designed to improve safety for students, increase physical activity and display local artwork. Strategies to improve healthy foods at corner stores are being implemented. Sites for youth-led gardens are being identified and funds sought. A community-based health clinic is improving signage to support outreach and access by un/underinsured residents. DISCUSSION: Healthy communities are vital for improved education, economic development and social engagement. Decision makers often have difficulty understanding the interrelationship of programs, policies, and health. Guided, audited walking tours offer an effective method to bring multi-sector support to improve community health.
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related education
Assess community leaders and residents ability to tie health to public policies
Discuss ways to engage and involve residents, planners, leaders, policymakers and decisionmakers in community public health related issues
Evaluate current condition in your community that may benefit from a guided, audited walking tour with leaders, planners and residents
Keyword(s): Community Building, Challenges and Opportunities
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been involved in community outreach programs for over 20 years and have a MPA. I presently direct a CDC Community Transformation Grant for Broward County, FL.
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.