Online Program

Health + Planning Toolkit: Crafting healthier comprehensive plans

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 9:30 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

James E. Dills, MUP, MPH, Georgia Health Policy Center, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
Recent attention from federal agencies, foundations, the media, and even legislative efforts have drawn national attention to the role of American’s living environments on health. Many governments seek to modify their public policies to facilitate active living and healthy food environments without impeding development and economic activity or personal choice. While these changes can occur at many levels of legislation, executive action, agency practice, or policy guidelines, the comprehensive plan serves as an ideal starting place for coordinated, evidence-based revisions. Our work identified a core set of healthy eating and active living indicators that could be found in a healthy comprehensive plan. The indicators represented national best practices as defined in prior research and evaluation projects conducted by our own organizations and others. In partnership with Eat Smart, Move More South Carolina (ESMM) and the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), we completed a quantiatve (score-based) review of 12 of the 46 county comprehensive plans in the state of South Carolina, ranging from rural to urban, and identified where these indicators were written into the plan. The team highlighted outstanding examples of the indicators and also worked with the state to develop an implementation guide. This implementation guide became the groundbreaking Health + Planning Toolkit consisting of locally-relevant, practical solutions for developing healthy eating and active living policy language as part of comprehensive plans. Policy, systems, and environmental change (PSE) is the focus of each recommendation. Capitalizing on the success of the guide, DHEC and ESMM are undertaking a multi-year process to further evaluate all 46 county comprehensive plans in the state and to track progress towards healthier policies across South Carolina as a result of communities' use of the toolkit.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe the intersection of public health and planning at the local level Explain the purpose of a comprehensive (or general) plan and legislative requirements Identify specific indicators of healthy eating and active living policy within comprehensive (or general) plans Demonstrate strategies for incorporating healthy eating and active living principles within comprehensive (or general) plans

Keyword(s): Built Environment, Public Policy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I contributed to the original toolkit and have been practicing at the intersection of public health and urban planning for the last decade.
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.