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.

WHAT’S NEW?

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 hccc@ceosforcities.org or call Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge Director Debbie Nadzam at 216-523-7348.

A theory-informed qualitative exploration of social and environmental determinants of physical activity and dietary choices in adolescents with intellectual disabilities in their final year of school – Stevens –

Source: A theory-informed qualitative exploration of social and environmental determinants of physical activity and dietary choices in adolescents with intellectual disabilities in their final year of school – Stevens – 2017 – Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities – Wiley Online Library

Abstract

Background

The prevalence of obesity is higher in those with intellectual disabilities than the general population. The aim of the study was to understand the determinants of physical activity and dietary patterns in this population during their final year of school.

Method

Qualitative data were generated from 10 interviews with adolescents with mild–moderate intellectual disabilities. Data were analysed using deductive thematic analysis, employing Self-Determination Theory as a theoretical framework.

Results

Adolescents’ environment and social interactions play a pivotal role in influencing physical activity and dietary patterns. Three themes emerged from the analysis: situatedness, motivation and wider environmental influences.

Conclusions

School structure, high self-efficacy and social connectedness facilitate increased physical activity and healthier diet in adolescents with intellectual disabilities. Home life, low self-efficacy and a lack of social connectedness can serve as a barrier to PA and a healthy diet.

 

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

James H. Rimmer, PhD, Sangeetha Padalabalanarayanan, Laurie A. Malone, PhD, Laurie A. Malone, Tapan Mehta

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

Abstract

Background

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.

Objective

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

Methods

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.

Results

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.

Conclusions

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.

County Health Rankings & Roadmaps

Source: County Health Rankings & Roadmaps

The annual Rankings provide a revealing snapshot of how health is influenced by where we live, learn, work and play. They provide a starting point for change in communities.
Choose a state from the map to begin.

The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program helps communities identify and implement solutions that make it easier for people to be healthy in their neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces. Ranking the health of nearly every county in the nation, the County Health Rankings illustrate what we know when it comes to what is keeping people healthy or making people sick and how the opportunity for good health differs from one county to the next. Supporting a call to action, the Roadmaps show what we can do to create healthier places for everyone to live, learn, work, and play. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation collaborates with the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute to bring this program to communities across the nation.

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HealthMatters Alert Newsletter Volume 2, Issue 1 (January/February 2017)

Project SEARCH at Cincinnati Children’s Awarded Grant from Ohio DD Council to Incorporate Health Matters Curriculum

Cincinnati, OH – Cincinnati Children’s has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council to study Healthy Lifestyles for People with Disabilities. The goal of the project is to incorporate Health Matters Curriculum, a health education curriculum specifically designed for people with developmental disabilities, into Project SEARCH and create and test a clear set of guidelines for integration. The aim is to provide a general model for introducing health and fitness education into high school transition, a critical life stage for establishing patterns and habits for healthy and successful adult life.The proposed project leverages a partnership between Project SEARCH and UnitedHealthcare Community & State(UHC). Through this partnership, UHC purchased Health Matters Curriculum for distribution to all 430 Project SEARCH program sites.

Project SEARCH at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center will be the lead organization, and will partner with the following organizations to carry out this project:

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The State of the Science of Health and Wellness for Adults With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Historically, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) have experienced health disparities related to several factors including: a lack of access to high quality medical care, inadequate preparation of health care providers to meet their needs, the social determinants of health (e.g., poverty, race and gender), and the failure to include people with IDD in public health efforts and other prevention activities. Over the past decade, a greater effort has been made to both identify and begin to address myriad health disparities experienced by people with IDD through a variety of activities including programs that address health lifestyles and greater attention to the training of health care providers. Gaps in the literature include the lack of intervention trials, replications of successful approaches, and data that allow for better comparisons between people with IDD and without IDD living in the same communities. Implications for future research needed to reduce health disparities for people with IDD include: better monitoring and treatment for chronic conditions common in the general population that are also experienced by people with IDD, an enhanced understanding of how to promote health among those in the IDD population who are aging, addressing the health needs of people with IDD who are not part of the disability service system, developing a better understanding of how to include people with IDD in health and wellness programs, and improving methods for addressing the healthcare needs of members of this group in an efficient and cost-effective manner, either through better access to general medical care or specialized programs.

Source: The State of the Science of Health and Wellness for Adults With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Human Development Institute: H+W – HealthMatters

Source: H+W – HealthMatters

The Health & Wellness Initiative at the Human Development Institute at the University of Kentucky has partnered with the authors of HealthMatters curriculum from the University of Illinois at Chicago to provide a statewide roll out of online based training for staff around the state to become instructors within their community supports for the HealthMatters program. This evidence-based curriculum includes everything community based organizations need to run successful health promotion program for individual with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Participants have reported feeling healthier, feeling better about themselves, and have started incorporating what they’ve learned from the health promotion programming into their daily lives.  Within the HealthMatters pages and links, you will find valuable resources for your HealthMatters programming. Please use these resources to make your programming as fun and effective as possible!

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