The Health Buzz

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ICYMI NACo hosted a Twitter chat for County Health Day . If you missed it, no problem. You can relive the Twitter chat by following the hashtag #CountyHealth. Here are some highlights below! Thank you to everyone who participated! Q1 : What are your county’s top 3 health priorities? San Diego County: Live Well San Diego is San Diego County's vision for a region that is Building Better Health, Living Safely & Thriving. Mecklenburg County: Based off Mecklenburg County's State of the County Health Report, our priorities are Chronic Disease, Mental Health, and Access to Care.  Wichita Falls County: Smoke free vehicles, healthier schools and ...
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Welcome to the Learning Network’s Healthy Communities Podcast! In this podcast, I will talk to public health experts about common health issues in our communities, and how HC projects aim to address them. We hope to create about a 20 minute episode on a specific topic that will change each week. We hope that the podcast provides you with information that is interesting, relevant and encouraging. If you have any comments or suggestions please leave those on the comment section at the bottom of the page. In Episode 2, I talked with Elyse Jardine, program manager for the Institute for Public Health Innovation and the Health Collaborative in Danville, Virginia, ...
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The American Public Health Association’s National Public Health Week began Monday, April 2, with its annual NPHW forum, which featured public health experts including keynote speaker U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, MD, MPH. Dr. Adams and a distinguished panel looked at the future of public health for this year’s theme, “Healthiest Nation 2030: Changing Our Future Together.” The recent CDC findings regarding the second straight year of declining life expectancy in the US set the context for Dr. Adams’s address. “For the first time ever, we can’t say that our kids will live longer than us,” said Dr. Adams. The US Surgeon General continued with a more hopeful ...
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By Moria Nagy, DeKalb County Community Gardens President Side of Vehicle displaying Safe Passage advertisement DeKalb County Community Gardens is a non-profit organization that seeks to empower individuals to make healthy food choices. The organization managers over 50 community garden spaces and also the Walnut Grove Vocational Farm, a location that educates those with special needs in agricultural and horticultural techniques. The DCCG Grow-mobile is a refrigerated produce truck that serves as pop-up food pantry and education center for the residents of DeKalb County. Our mobile Chef, Christy Sharp from the Kishwaukee Education Consortium ...
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*This is cross-posted from the NACo blog .   The beginning stages of initiative planning are often the most exciting. All too often, however, these efforts eventually wain, and the momentum slows to a snail pace, stopping either within or just short of the implementation phase. The phenomena of “getting stuck” is one that is not lost on finalists of the Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge . John Hornbeck, project manager for Wyandotte County, Kan., explains that “the county had already established, through several different master plans, the importance of safe routes to parks, the importance of park trails and other off-street trails, the importance ...
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When Spartanburg County launched our HealthyCommunity50 (HC50) Challenge, we sought to gain participation from four municipalities that would work towards improved health in their communities. Currently, we have been able to engage eight different municipalities in Spartanburg County. Quarterly Walks with Elected Officials In the first year of HC50, we held four quarterly walks hosted by elected officials in eight different municipalities throughout Spartanburg County and engaging over 300 people. Participants per location have ranged between 4 and 49. The smaller sizes have allowed residents to engage in deeper conversations with their representatives. ...
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  When Vida Benjamin came to Promiseland Child Care center on the far eastside of Indianapolis, she’d been recently laid off and was interested in volunteering and being with the children, never expecting she’d stumble on a new passion.  Clearly gifted with the children, one day she was asked if she might be interested in joining Promiseland on staff, and today she’s been its director for over four years. Promiseland is a Paths to QUALITY level 3 licensed, registered, child care ministry, housed in Calvary Temple "The Caring Place” church. Promiseland serves 65 children, ages 6 weeks through 5 years, and has a special program for older children during ...
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Welcome to the Learning Network’s Healthy Communities Podcast! In this podcast, I will talk to public health experts about common health issues in our communities, and how HC projects aim to address them. We hope to create about a 20 minute episode on a specific topic that will change each week. We hope that the podcast provides you with information that is interesting, relevant and encouraging. If you have any comments or suggestions please leave those on the comment section at the bottom of the page. In Episode 1, I talked with Megan McKinney Cooper, communications director for JumpIN for Healthy Kids from Greater Lawrence, Indiana about childhood overweight ...
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Nutrition and Community

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Those are two of the major tenets of Dutchess County’s award-winning Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge  microgreens project , and both were recently on display in the City of Poughkeepsie. Several of the project’s collaborators – Dutchess County Office for the Aging, Indoor Organic Gardens of Poughkeepsie, and Hudson Valley Community Center – brought together local seniors and Poughkeepsie City School District students to enjoy a winter microgreens luncheon . As part of Dutchess County’s project, microgreens, which are young greens with the comparable nutritional value of fully grown vegetables, have been added to the diets of two vulnerable ...
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It doesn’t seem difficult to solve an individual face of a Rubik’s cube; however, what makes the cube so complex is that each of those blocks corresponds to another and therefore changing one can change them all. This interconnected web seems to be unsolvable to the naked eye, but looking closer we can see there are in fact multiple solutions to our puzzle. How do we solve it? How do we move the green corner piece without disjointing the completed orange side? Well, a good place to start is by changing your perspective, your understanding and your conceptualization of the problem. When we begin to think of our wicked problems as a traceable interconnected ...
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In the early 1980s, former Health and Human Services Secretary Margaret M. Heckler directed a group of experts to study the health status of minority populations in the US. The report, which became known as the Heckler Report , found significant disparities between Whites and racial and ethnic minorities, and offered recommendations to address those imbalances. The report brought minority health to the national forefront paving the path for the creation of the Office of Minority Health. More than 30 years since the Heckler Report, there have been notable achievements in black heath as expressed in increases in life expectancy and decreases in the mortality ...
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Last Monday at the Sharing Place food pantry in Lawrence Township, Indiana, it was 11 degrees outside and a line was already forming for the pantry 30 minutes before it was scheduled to open.  For the people waiting, this would be their one opportunity to access food from the Sharing Place all month.  Until recently, the Sharing Place didn’t give a lot of thought to the nutrition of the food its shoppers were accessing – food is food for someone who is hungry.  But Jump IN for Healthy Kids’ Community Demonstration Project in Lawrence and the Far Eastside had changed that, and changed the pantry’s layout, signage, and offerings for the better. Jump IN’s ...
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Hi there, I'm delighted to report on our progress in Greater Lawrence.  The format for the blog comes from the survey questions for the Community Spotlight, but I also wanted to share photos of the work Jump IN for Healthy Kids is doing.  Enjoy!  *1. City/County:   City of Lawrence and the far eastside of Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana *2. Name of Project: Greater Lawrence Healthy Families Healthy Children Initiative *3. What are some of the greatest health challenges that the members in your community face? Jump IN for Healthy Kids’ HCCC project focuses on a four-zip code area that straddles the far eastside of Indianapolis and Lawrence Township.  ...
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Counties in the Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge are building healthier counties by using land use planning as a mechanism to increase physical activity, reduce obesity and improve mental health. Among the finalists of NACo’s Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge, four counties are piloting programs to improve the health of their residents through managing and reexamining land use and outdoor activity space. According to Toni Carter, Healthy Counties Board Chair and Commissioner of Ramsey County MN, this innovative and holistic approach to health should be the standard. She explains, “I think …that health is the bottom line for counties, so all of ...
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Here’s what we see: Fires engulf bone dry forests. Hail, the size of golf balls, fall from the sky. Torrential rains form rivers on street corners or mudslides down mountains. Frozen crops wilt, unable to produce fruits or vegetables. Extreme weather events, exacerbated by climate change, have caused a total of $306 billion in damages in the United States, setting the record as the most expensive year. 2017 was among the hottest years ever recorded . Depending on the source, 2017 was the second hottest, according to NASA, or the third hottest, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. There have been 16 natural disasters that have ...
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Hi HC50 Community, Is your community looking to increase physical activity for a New Year’s resolution? Join APHA’s 1 Billion Steps Challenge . The HC50 Community has its own team! APHA’s 1 Billion Steps Challenge makes it easy and fun to promote good health and physical activity in your community. To help successfully get moving, the Challenge has partnered with Stridekick to give participants free access to their fitness-tracking platform. Read the linked attached document to learn how you and your community members can join the HC50 Team or to create your own team and then go to the APHA challenge on the Stridekick page to login to your account or ...
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Life expectancy, a key indicator of general well-being of a nation, fell for a second straight year in 2016, prompting alarm for public health in the United States. Now, more than ever, are community public health initiatives, such as the HC50, critical for our country’s future. In 2016, life expectancy for the US population was 78.6 years, a decrease of 0.1 year from 2015 and 0.3 years from 2014. Life expectancy has not dropped for two consecutive years since the 1960s. These declines reflect a disturbing lack of public health resources to those most in need. According to the CDC’s NCHS Data Brief on Mortality , those most affected were black males where ...
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By Alicia McDaniel, Cabarrus REACH Project In October 2014, the City of Kannapolis released its 10 year Parks and Recreation Master Plan. The plan detailed the city’s needs and possible solutions for increasing the accessibility and availability of play and recreation facilities. The need for more convenient spaces for residents to be physically active is not only a Kannapolis City issue, but a statewide concern. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2014 State Indicator Report on Physical Activity, only 41 percent of North Carolina youth live in neighborhoods with physical activity facilities such as parks, playgrounds, community ...
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By Alicia McDaniel, Cabarrus REACH Project Over the last two years, the Cabarrus Health Alliance (CHA) has supported local community garden efforts through funding provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) grant. Community gardens by design foster relationships, present the opportunity for hands on learning and skill development as well as provide access to fresh fruits and vegetables. It is for these reasons that the REACH community garden program will continue into the 2018 year. Participants of the community garden program receive supplies, training and technical assistance at no ...
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Today, November 14, marks World Diabetes Day. A day dedicated to inspire activism and bring awareness about the harmful disease. So before we jump into Thanksgiving festivities just around the corner, first, gobble down some helpful facts and tips to reduce your chance at getting diabetes and to improve your overall health. The aerial view of the blue ring brings awareness to World Diabetes Day in a park.  Did you know that more than 30.3 million people in the United States, or 9.4 percent of the population, have diabetes? But what exactly is it? Diabetes occurs when a person’s blood sugar is high, due to the absence of insulin, which turns ...
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