Have you joined the YMCA Walking Challenge for October? Sign up now through this link, so you can help our community cover 250,000 miles in one month, the equivalent of walking to the moon. Together, we can do this, as we are doing so many other great things together to transform our region.
The October challenge is just one accomplishment of the Health Action Partnership, a collaboration of organizations working together with the Jefferson County Department of Health to fight obesity and tobacco use in Jefferson County and helping to make the healthy choice easier for everyone.
Thanks to local matches and national grants and the good work of so many nonprofit organizations, we have accomplished so much already. Here are some highlights showing how the Health Action Partnership is helping to improve:
…where we live and play
- SmartCode: Jefferson County Commission improved land planning codes impacting 17 percent of Jefferson County residents
- Complete Streets: City of Birmingham provides more transportation options to more than 212,000 residents
- Smoke Free Ordinances: Fultondale is now 100 percent smoke free (7,000+ residents) and Fairfield upheld its smoke-free ordinance (11,000+ residents)
- Tobacco Retail Warning Signs: More than 50 convenience stores and supermarkets are voluntarily posting tobacco use warnings at point of sale
- Greenways: The Greenway Master Plan is soon to be released and has engaged close to 2,000 people in the process
- Food Deserts: The Southwest Fresh Market is up and running this fall and West End will open in the spring impacting many of the 88,000 people in food deserts
- Mobile Produce Pantry: Our community food bank has distributed more than 280,000 pounds of fresh produce to 40,000 people through 62 agencies
- Quit Line: Helping people access 1-800-Quit-Now free cessation support and resources
- Radio Dramas: 48 episodes have been recorded for each Living Well in Camberwell and Promesas y Traiciones now airing 2x weekly on WAGG and La Jefa
- New Walking Routes: We have established safe walking routes in West and East Birmingham that are now available on Championsforhealth.org
…where our children learn
- Child Care Regulations: From Birth to Five, all 17,600 children in child care will now be safer and healthier in Jefferson County due to regulations from the Board of Health; 100 child care centers received one-on-one assessment, 60 received training, and 28 received playgrounds worth $20,000 on average built by local corporate volunteers
- Cafeteria Nutrition Training: This year 527 staff were trained by Jones Valley Urban Farm across 4 school districts. All 12 Jefferson County school systems will receive nutritious cooking training in food safety at the Jefferson County Department of Health
- Safe Routes to School: Parents and partners are leading three “walking school buses” in Birmingham City Schools
- After School Wellness: 16 schools from five districts received training on nutrition and physical activity in after-school programs, amounting to 540 kids this year alone
- Youth Empowerment: More than 12,000 students, teachers and staff at 12 schools in eight districts have been educated by the 116 tobacco-free youth advocates trained by Gateway
…where we work
- Worksite Wellness: More than 100 physicians have supported Exercise is Medicine and 20 HR personnel are promoting Flexible Spending Accounts for weight management
- Smoke Free Worksites: We have received more than 3,500 pledges, garnered 268 community advocates, engaged more than 2,300 people through social media, and educated more than 100 worksites on secondhand smoke worksite policies and cessation resources
To find out more about how the Community Foundation supports these efforts, contact Gus Heard-Hughes. To see the latest information about the Health Action Partnership, go to the Champions for Health website.