Making Chicago Healthier

 

August 17, 2011

Healthy Places Logo

 

Good Afternoon Alderman,

Healthy Places, a joint project of the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC) and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), received $5.8 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, through the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund, to focus on policy, systems, and environmental change to support healthy eating and physical activity throughout the City. Eight hundred thousand dollars of the award was set aside for community interventions to bring a neighborhood focus to the city-wide efforts of Healthy Places.

Ten organizations were selected through a competitive proposal process for community work in neighborhoods of high poverty and health disparity. Three organizations will focus on healthy corner store efforts, three on breastfeeding education and support, and four on healthy schools initiatives. All ten awardees will conduct walkability assessments around schools and parks to identify obstacles to walking and biking and to develop action plans to reduce or remove barriers. Work will commence in August 2011 and continue for the entire Healthy Places funding period through September 2012.

Corner Stores

  • Funded organizations will work to improve access to healthy foods in selected corner stores in their community. The goal of the initiative is to assist stores with obtaining, displaying, and marketing fresh produce and low fat dairy products while also promoting healthy food consumption in the community.
  • We hope to have at least 4 stores in each community receive designation as a Healthy Places Healthy Corner Store; stores that agree to meet a set of specific criteria can receive that official designation.
  • Funded organizations and their communities of focus:
  • Southeast Chicago Development Commission (South Chicago)
  • Inner-City Muslim Action Network (Englewood)
  • West Humboldt Park Development Council (Humboldt Park)

Breastfeeding

  • Healthy Places will work with organizations to increase breastfeeding rates in their community. Work will focus on community awareness about the importance of breastfeeding and the policies of health centers and workplaces that can support breastfeeding.
  • Funded organizations and their communities of focus:
    • Southwest Organizing Project (Chicago Lawn, Englewood)
    • Access Community Health Network (Rogers Park)
    • Heartland Human Care Services (West Englewood)

Schools

  • Funded organizations will work with elementary schools to help promote and support the adoption of policies and practices that encourage healthy eating and physical activity. By doing so, community organizations will engage schools in a district-wide effort, Go for the Gold, to recognize healthy schools through the USDA’s HealthierUS School Challenge. The ultimate goal is for all schools to complete the USDA’s HealthierUS School Challenge application for formal recognition.
  • Funded organizations and their communities of focus:
    • Asian Health Coalition (Armour Square)
    • SGA Youth & Family Services (Roseland)
    • Urban Initiatives (New City)

Walkability

  • Brighton Park Neighborhood Council (Brighton Park)
  • Healthy Places is working to make it safer and easier to get to city schools and parks. In order to identify barriers to walking and biking in Chicago, all ten of Healthy Places’ awardees will be conducting walkability assessments around schools and parks in your community over the next few months.
  • Organizations will use CLOCC’s Neighborhood Walkability Assessment Tool to examine obstacles to safe walking and may develop action steps/recommendations based on their findings. Actions may include connecting with local Ward Offices to discuss strategies for reducing barriers to walking and biking.

For more information about the community interventions work of Healthy Places, please contact our Community Interventions Coordinator, Sona Smith, at ssmith@childrensmemorial.org, 312-573-7801.

Sincerely,
Adam B. Becker, PhD, MPH
Executive Director, Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children

Bechara Choucair, M.D.
Commissioner, Chicago Department of Public Health

Media Contact(s):

Sona Smith
312-573-7801
ssmith@childrensmemorial.org

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