HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign: Helping Municipal Leaders Create Healthy, Prosperous Communities
The Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Cities & Towns Campaign for the Mid-Atlantic pairs IPHI’s content expertise with the unique power local governments have to create communities in which residents can eat better and move more.
The HEAL Cities and Towns Campaign provides free technical assistance and training to help municipal leaders in Maryland’s and Virginia’s cities and towns adopt policies that improve their communities’ physical activity and food environments. This is how it works:
Educate: Campaign staff help local government leaders understand their role in creating healthy communities. We help them recognize how health behaviors are affected by the environments in which we live, work, and play, and how, as government leaders, they can implement policies and practices that promote healthy eating and active living in those environments.
Assess: We then work with municipalities to help them assess how their existing policies and practices affect the community’s health, and provide a menu of policies and practices that identify new opportunities to promote healthy eating and active living among their residents and government employees. Recognizing that both the interests and needs of cities and towns vary widely throughout the region, the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign provides free technical assistance on a wide range of policies and practices — from planning pedestrian and bicycle friendly streets to the adoption of healthy vending policies.
Adopt: As a first step to taking action on creating healthy, more prosperous communities, municipalities articulate their new policy and practice goals in a HEAL Resolution. This Resolution serves as a roadmap to improving the municipality’s physical activity and food environments. Campaign staff provide free technical assistance as the municipalities work to implement their Resolution goals. Technical assistance includes: working with HEAL staff in-person or over-the-phone; presentations, model policies, fact sheets, webinars, training, and marketing materials.
Current Campaign Status
Currently, 65 local jurisdictions in Maryland and Virginia, covering nearly 2 million people, have adopted resolutions and other policies and practices to shape their communities into places where it is easier for residents and employees to make healthy choices about physical activity and nutrition.
The HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign for the Mid-Atlantic is part of a growing national campaign that is also taking place in California, Oregon, and Colorado. IPHI embarked on this initiative in 2012 with funding from Kaiser Permanente, founding partner, and a strategic partnership with the Maryland & Virginia Municipal Leagues.
Learn how some of our HEAL cities and towns are accomplishing their HEAL goals and creating healthy, prosperous communities. CLICK HERE.