Online Program

Amplifying community access to physical activity in South Florida through public and private partnerships

Monday, November 2, 2015

Danny Elfenbein, Community Health, Baptist Health South Florida, Coral Gables, FL
Rooney Brodie, MPH, Community Health Department, Baptist Health South Florida, Coral Gables, FL
Objectives: Collaboration and policy between healthcare systems, municipalities and private enterprise can increase access to and participation in community physical activity programs. Through strategic partnerships and eliminating cost as a barrier, access to evidence-based, instructor led physical activity programs is amplified, supporting an identified community health need.

Methods: Over a three-year period, a healthcare system expanded access and community participation in physical activity programs through development of policy and partnerships.  The system’s recent Community Health Needs Assessment identified 68% of Miami-Dade residents were overweight or obese and 35% reported lack of physical activity or sedentary behavior (higher than the state average of 25%) with adults 65 and older demonstrating the highest rates of sedentary behavior.  To address existing barriers, the system implemented a plan to improve access to physical activity programs by converting fee-based programs to free while expanding partnerships with local municipalities and private partners.

Results: The strategy has expanded access by measure of participation and programs offered across the community.  In 2012, prior to policy changes, 49-weekly exercise programs drew 38,000 participants. Two years after the conversion, participation has grown to 74,000 with waitlists for most classes. In 2015, 112 weekly exercise programs are offered with participation expected to reach 145,000 community members. The change in strategy has expanded evidence-based exercise programs such as yoga and tai-chi targeted to older adults for healthy aging, balance, fall prevention and social health.  Partnerships with local community organizers created run clubs targeting young professionals of all skill levels to promote running in built environments, helping to diversify audiences.

Learning Areas:

Other professions or practice related to public health
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate successful public and private partnership strategies that expand community access to and participation in exercise programs.

Keyword(s): Community-Based Partnership & Collaboration, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the manager for the department within a major healthcare system that is repsonsible for delivery of the programs outlined in the submitted abstract.
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.