Florida Department of Health recognizes and assists communities making Health in All Policies an integral part of their comprehensive planning. Each year, FDOH invites communities to share their stories and best practices for a chance to be honored through the Healthy Community Champions Recognition Program.

Click here to see what the 2019 Healthy Community Chapions are doing in their communities! Communities will aslo be featured on the Florida Department of Health website.

Background

Obesity rates in the U.S. have increased dramatically over the last 30 years, reaching epidemic proportions. Obesity increases the risk for many serious health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. Obesity and associated chronic diseases have a considerable economic impact on communities and individuals, especially where availability and access to healthy foods and healthy spaces for physical activity are limited.

In Florida, only 33.9% of adults are at a healthy weight. To address this issue, the Florida Department of Health created the Healthy Community Champions Recognition Program.

The program recognizes communities taking a Health in All Policies approach to comprehensive planning, and provides a platform to share accomplishments, best practices, and lessons learned.

Health in All Policies, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “is a collaborative approach that integrates and articulates health considerations into policy decisions across sectors to improve the health of all communities and people.”

Local governments can play a pivotal role in improving public health by implementing policies and practices that have been shown to increase physical activity and improve nutrition. These “best practice” policies are reflected in the submission form. They also align with the 2017-2021 State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP).

The Healthy Community Champions Recognition Program with technical assistance offered to communities to further the adoption and implementation of local programs. State partners include the Florida Department of Transportation, Department of Economic Opportunity and Department of Environmental Protection.