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YMCA Expands Pioneering Healthier Communities Initiative to Lead Healthy Change in Communities Nationwide
Date:9/9/2009

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YMCAs in 21 communities across the country are convening local leaders this year to respond to public health challenges: Lompoc, Calif.; Long Beach, Calif.; Ontario, Calif.; Moultrie, Ga.; Honolulu, Hawaii; Evansville, Ind.; Noble County, Ind.; Greater Cadillac Area, Mich.; Kalamazoo, Mich.; Albert Lea, Minn.; Duluth, Minn.; Fulton, Mo.; St. Joseph, Mo.; Flemington, N.J.; Burlington County, N.J.; Guildford County, N.C.; Defiance, Ohio; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Grants Pass, Ore.; Philadelphia, Pa.; Windham County, Vt.

Early Community Successes

Communities involved in PHC are focused on various local challenges ranging from devising ways to excite youth and older adults about physical activity, supporting employees in their pursuit of health and well-being, and improving school nutrition to enhancing the environment to allow for more opportunities for activity and access to healthy foods, and influencing relevant public policy.

Pioneering Healthier Communities teams are:

  • Influencing policy makers to provide opportunities for kids to be physically active before, during and after the school day.
  • Building new or enhancing existing walking/biking trails and sidewalks for community members to be active;
  • Working with employers to provide workplaces that support healthy eating and activity; and
  • Providing opportunities for residents to purchase and consume fresh fruits and vegetables through community-gardens, farmers markets, and other activities.

What's Next for the 2009 Pioneering Healthier Communities

Following the model of the 2004-08 communities, YMCAs in these new 21 communities will bring together a team of local leaders, including elected officials, state and local directors of public health organizations, business leaders from various industries and leaders of local schools, parks
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SOURCE YMCA of the USA
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