3 Cool tools for citizen centered health promotion & health in all policies


My work building Healthy Community Zones with Urban Health Partnerships and the TOUCH initiative in Broward County is in full swing.  Working with transportation engineers, city and county leadership, health care professionals, education leaders, law enforcement, and most importantly, residents, we’ve been busy conducting Walking Audits and extensive data gathering to connect and build upon existing plans.

A huge thank you to the host organizations for your time and effort to coordinate these events in a very short time L A Lee YMCA (Ft. Lauderdale), Austin Hepburn Center (Hallandale Beach), C W Thomas Park (Dania Beach), and Delevoe Park (Broward County Municipal Services District).

Up next the building of Community Action Plans that will guide work for the next two years and beyond.  Follow TOUCH Broward on Facebook  and on Twitter @TOUCHBroward for lots of photos. Here’s what it looks like in action:


Citizen centered health promotion policy development in action. Photo credits to Beny Schonfeld.

Citizen centered health promotion policy development in action. Photo credits to Beny Schonfeld.

Hallandale_WA.groupPreWalk Sistrun_WA.lunch Sistrunk_WA.discussion

You know people are committed when they show up for Walking Audits in the mid-afternoon South Florida August heat!!

As we begin tackling the Community Action Plan building phase, a great resource is the leader in Health In All policies work, Change Lab Solutions.

ChangeLab Solutions provides community-based solutions for America’s most common and preventable diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and asthma. Our solutions promote the common good by making healthier choices easier for everyone.

Their graphic rich, brilliantly simple tools translate the complicated process of policy, system, and environmental change into tools for community action.  These are customizable and beautifully tie in the health in all policies framework into economic development and sustainability.  All tools are available at Change Lab Solutions with direct links below:

Presentation Make the case

Health In All Policies Guide Understand Health In All Policies implementation

Model Policies Tools for plan development

Our method for building Community Action Plans is based on tools from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and built with the necessary rigor to potentially secure implementation funding.  This is what we love, translating community goals into formalized plans that match the right funder to that effort.  The TOUCH Healthy Community Zones are on their way!

Heading home to work on several projects…..


May will take me back to hometown of Lansing, MI to work on several of my favorite projects.  First up is the Michigan Department of Community Health Policy Roundtable on May 15.  This important conference will bring YUSA leaders together with Michigan YMCAs and other leading Community Based Organizations such as the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan and the Detroit Area Agency on Aging along with leaders in the healthcare community to discuss closing the “clinic to community gap” through dissemination of evidence based programming.  I’m on the agenda to present the Broward case study and discuss with Y CEOs the business model behind implementing evidence based strategies.On May 16/17 I will conduct an EnhanceFitness Master Trainer training professionals that will be taking on training responsibilities within the program to expand their organizations’ capacity.

I will also begin working with Happendance, Inc a non-profit professional dance company on their 5 year strategic plan.  Happendance has a dear place in my heart, as I was a member of the professional company.  I also believe strongly in the arts community as a key driver in economic development and retention of a city’s creative class.  As Lansing continues to find it’s legs in a post-manufacturing economy, retaining this talent is critical.

I’m excited to work with their new Executive Director, Missy Lilje, and their Board of Directors on setting an exciting course of growth and sustainability for this treasured community resource.  Check out this great organization at http://happendance.org  (you can even scroll back in the archives and find pictures of my time in the company hint:  2008 ish)