Deborah Munroe Noonan Memorial Research Fund – Health Resource in Action

Source: Deborah Munroe Noonan Memorial Research Fund – Health Resource in Action

The Deborah Munroe Noonan Memorial Research Fund, established in 1947 by Frank M. Noonan in memory of his mother, continues its proud tradition of supporting improvements in the quality of life for children with disabilities with one-year grants up to $80,000 (inclusive of 20% indirect costs). Recognizing that children’s health services and supports are provided in a wide range of community settings as well as hospitals, the Noonan Research program welcomes research proposals from both nonprofit organizations and academic institutions that serve children with physical or developmental disabilities and associated health-related complications. Eligible organizations and target populations must be within the Fund’s geographic area of interest of Greater Boston. Neither a faculty position nor an advanced degree is required.

The Sara Elizabeth O’Brien Trust, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee, will support up to one additional project submitted to the Noonan Research Fund focusing on medical research related to blindness in children and adolescents.  Please note, the O’Brien Trust does not fund work on other visual impairments, e.g., strabismus. The O’Brien Trust is not restricted to the Noonan geography specified by the Noonan Research program.

Proposals for basic science research will not be considered (except for proposals focused on blindness funded by the O’Brien Trust), nor will applications for capital costs such as buildings, renovations, or major equipment items. The Noonan Fund does not support direct service, primary prevention projects, or primary medical conditions such as obesity or device development. Drug trials are not supported by the Noonan Research Fund.

Physical Activity: Family-Based Interventions

Source: Physical Activity: Family-Based Interventions

Summary of Task Force Finding

The Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends family-based interventions to increase physical activity among children.


Family-based interventions combine activities to build family support with health education to increase physical activity among children. Interventions include one or more of the following:

  • Goal-setting tools and skills to monitor progress, such as a website to enter information
  • Reinforcement of positive health behaviors, such as reward charts or role modeling of physical activity by parents or instructors
  • Organized physical activity sessions, such as instructor-led opportunities for active games

Interventions also may provide information about other lifestyle behaviors such as choosing healthier foods or reducing screen time.

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Task Force Finding and Rationale Statement

Read the full Task Force Finding and Rationale Statement pdf icon [PDF – 633 kB] for details including implementation issues, possible added benefits, potential harms, and evidence gaps.

Obesity: Meals and Snacks Provided by Schools | The Community Guide

Source: Obesity: Meals and Snacks Provided by Schools | The Community Guide

Summary of Task Force Finding

The Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends meal interventions and fruit and vegetable snack interventions to increase the availability of healthier foods and beverages provided by schools. This finding is based on evidence that they increase fruit and vegetable consumption and reduce or maintain the rate of obesity or overweight.

The Task Force has related findings for interventions to increase healthier foods and beverages in schools:

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Health Equity, Social Determinants | The Community Guide

Source: Health Equity, Social Determinants | The Community Guide

Health equity exists when individuals have equal opportunities to be healthy. The ability to be healthy is often associated with factors such as social position, race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual identity, or disability. When these factors limit a person’s ability to be healthy it can lead to health inequity.

Health inequities are caused by the uneven distribution of social determinants of health. Social determinants include education, housing, and the neighborhood environment (e.g., sidewalks, parks), access to transportation, employment opportunities, the law and the justice systems, and health care and public health systems. Social determinants of health affect a person’s ability to earn a good living, live and work in a safe and healthy environment, and effectively use available resources including health care resources. Sometimes populations that represent a specific demographic feature (e.g., a particular racial or ethnic group) do not have equal access to quality education, housing, and other resources which can lead to greater sickness, and increased injuries and deaths.

Current Community Guide reviews are focused on interventions to reduce health inequities among racial and ethnic minorities and low-income populations.

Fitness facilities still lack accessibility for people with disabilities

Fitness facilities have potential to serve as places of ‘health enhancement’ for many underserved populations, particularly among people with physical/mobility disabilities where walking outdoors to meet recommendations for regular physical activity is not an option due to mobility or safety issues.

Source: Fitness facilities still lack accessibility for people with disabilities – Disability and Health Journal



Fitness facilities have potential to serve as places of ‘health enhancement’ for many underserved populations, particularly among people with physical/mobility disabilities where walking outdoors to meet recommendations for regular physical activity is not an option due to mobility or safety issues.


To examine the accessibility and usability of fitness facilities across the U.S. from a broader framework of physical and program access.


A convenience sample of 227 fitness facilities in 10 states were assessed by trained evaluators using the Accessibility Instrument Measuring Fitness and Recreation Environments (AIMFREE) tool. Non-parametric tests were performed to determine whether AIMFREE section scores were different by geographic region (urban, suburban), business type (nonprofit, for-profit), facility affiliation (fitness center/health club, park district/community center, hospital/rehabilitation facility, university/college), and facility construction date (pre/post passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, ADA). Raw scores were converted to scaled scores with higher scores indicating better accessibility based on a criterion-referenced approach.


Section scale scores (11/13) were low (<70) with differences found across facility affiliation. While facilities built after passage of the ADA had higher accessibility scores compared to pre-ADA facilities, only programs and water fountains had scaled scores ≥70 regardless of facility construction date.


There exists a strong and urgent need to encourage owners and operators of fitness facilities to reach a higher level of accessibility. Until then, many people with physical/mobility disabilities will continue to have limited access to programs, equipment, and services offered at these facilities.

2016 Community Rankings for Healthy Eating – Gallup-Sharecare

Source: Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index

This report, part of the Gallup-Sharecare State of American Well-Being series, examines healthy eating across the nation, ranking 189 communities based on the question ‘Did you eat healthy all day yesterday?’ The rankings show a wide range of results – with the highest communities having more than three quarters of their citizens report eating healthy all day the previous day compared to just over half among the lowest healthy eating communities.

Gallup-Sharecare 2016 Community Rankings for Healthy Eating

In 2016, many of the top healthy eating communities are located in California, with ten California-based communities in the top 25. Florida has four communities in the top 25, and Texas and Arizona each claim two top spots. The highest healthy eating community in the country is Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL, a community that also had the highest well-being in the country for the last two years. Barnstable Town, MA was number two in healthy eating, followed by Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA, Salinas, CA, McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX, and Santa Rosa, CA – all of which had more than 72% of their citizens report healthy eating.

The lowest rates of healthy eating come from states such as Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Louisiana – with each of these states having two communities in the lowest 25. Lubbock, TX, Memphis, TN, Cincinnati, OH, Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC, Clarksville, KY, Lexington-Fayette, KY, and Wichita, KS each have less than 57% of their citizens eating healthy. Seven of the ten lowest healthy eating communities are also among the lowest communities for overall well-being.

Download the latest Well-Being Index reports


Healthy Communities: What you can do

Source: What you can do

A new survey shows 94 percent of Americans are willing to take positive action to make their community a healthier place, according to research conducted by the Aetna Foundation.

hands joined in circle and two people smiling

You can play a role in creating more healthy days where you live! Don’t wait! Start the Healthiest Cities & Counties conversation in your area today:

  • POTENTIAL PARTICIPANTS: Is your community making a collaborative effort to become a healthier city or county? Join the Challenge and tell us how your city or county is creating more healthy days where you live.
  • COMMUNITY MEMBERS: Real change starts at the grassroots level, and a healthier city or county starts with you! Share information with your friends, family, peers and elected officials. Send a link to the local elected official, academic institution, business or organization in your area that has shown interest in improving the health of your community.

Share this image and link to the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge website:

Create More Healthy Days and Join Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge

Check out our Frequently Asked Questions to learn more.

Healthiest Cities & Counties: The Challenge

Source: Welcome to the Challenge

We believe a healthy city/county is economically competitive, inclusive and equitable. That’s why we’ve called on cities and counties across the country to join the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge. The Challenge is a partnership between the Aetna Foundation, the American Public Health Association and the National Association of Counties and administered by CEOs For Cities. The partnership empowers small to mid-size U.S. cities and counties to create a positive health impact.


Durham and Carrabus counties in North Carolina highlight their successful event on health policy and innovation, and Gulfport, Mississippi showcases pictures of a community garden designed by elementary school students. Catch up on Wyandotte County, Kansas‘ new video that highlights their “Safe Routes to Parks” approach. And Mecklenburg County, North Carolina’s new video shows how their Village HeartBEAT program will expand thanks to the Challenge.

Check out our map page to learn more about how our HealthyCommunity50 are improving health in the areas of healthy behaviors, community safety, built environment, social/economic factors and environmental exposures.

We’re awarding more than $1.5 million in prizes to cities, counties and federally recognized tribes most able to show measurable changes in health and wellness over the next several years.

Questions about the Challenge? Email or call Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge Director Debbie Nadzam at 216-523-7348.