Newsletter Contents
Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
VML Application
Spotlights of the Month
Tools & Resources
Funding & Awards
About Us
Stay Connected!
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 Let's Talk About Childhood Obesity
Did you know that one in three children in the United States is overweight or obese? Did you know that childhood obesity puts kids at risk for health problems that were once seen only in adults, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease? This month we're recognizing National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month by providing facts, information, and resources to help spread awareness in your community.

This September, nonprofits, governments, community groups, and individuals are raising awareness about critical public health issues, like childhood obesity. By raising awareness, we can work together to improve health outcomes for our children because obesity is preventable! And that's one of the many reasons the HEAL Campaign exists. We know that communities can support children to eat better and move more - a proven recipe for a healthy life.

How can you participate this month? The HEAL team has outlined a simple 3 step plan to help your municipality continue working towards improving health outcomes and reducing rates of childhood obesity.

Step 1: What shapes your community's health? Learn what influences health in your community using the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps measures. These provide context and comparison to demonstrate the "social determinants of health," or more simply -- the many factors, including the environments we live, work, play, and age, that affect a range of health outcomes.

Step 2: Know what steps your state is taking or can take to help reduce rates of childhood obesity. The State of Obesity is a comprehensive source for state-wide obesity data and policy information. Check out the Maryland and Virginia state profiles to learn more about your state policies to prevent childhood obesity.

Step 3: How do your city or town's HEAL Resolution goals seek to reduce rates of childhood obesity in your community? What policies have you passed to change health outcomes for adults and children? Take a moment to review your HEAL Resolution goals by visiting our website and clicking on your state to view your HEAL Resolution. Next, use our Policy Assessment Tool to identify policies your municipality has passed or is interested in passing to improve heath and reduce obesity in your city or town. Feeling overwhelmed by all the policy options? Unsure how to get started with a new policy initiative? Feel free to give us a call and we'll help you walk through the results of your assessment and identify areas of need in your community.

We're looking forward to hearing how your municipality is working on your healthy eating and active living policy goals. Throughout the month, we'll be Tweeting information and statistics on childhood obesity using #ChildhoodObesityMonth. Participate by Tweeting us your project or policy initiatives as you join the movement as together we seek to improve health outcomes in our communities. 

VML Conference - Apply for HEAL Recognition! 
Calling all Virginia HEAL Campaign members! The deadline to submit your application for recognition at the upcoming Virginia  Municipal League (VML) Annual Conference is quickly approaching! The VML Annual Conference is an opportunity for the HEAL Campaign to recognize and promote local governments' HEAL achievements and new Campaign members. As cities and towns pass new HEAL policies, they can advance to higher levels of recognition - Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.

To apply for a new recognition level, please complete your application by Monday, September 10th to be recognized at the upcoming VML Annual Conference. If you are applying to become a NEW HEAL city or town, please send in your application by TODAY - Tuesday, September 4th as we need more time to coordinate with you in advance of the conference. 

For information and resources on HEAL policies and the recognition process, visit our website or contact our HEAL Campaign Manager Sydney Daigle at or 240-253-1036.   
Spotlights of the Month 
HEAL policies and practices can improve a community's health and livability and enhance its local economy. Understanding ways in which HEAL policies contribute to a city's or town's economic development can help local leaders generate support for HEAL initiatives and facilitate their efforts to improve and sustain their community's economy. 

This month, we're featuring the cities of   Roanoke, Virginia and Frederick, Maryland -  two of our HEAL Cities that have taken creative approaches to advancing HEAL policies to support health and wellness for both the cities' economy and its people. For more information on how HEAL policies and practices can impact economic development in your community, check out our factsheet

Interested in having your city or town featured in an upcoming Spotlight article? Please send a request to Julia Groenfeldt, HEAL Program and Communications Associate, at or 202-747-3455.
Tools and Resources
Webinar | Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper - and Healthier  - This webinar from America Walks demonstrates low cost, high impact strategies to improve streets and public spaces. The webinar provides examples including street redesigns for pedestrian use and farmers market stands. Find the webinar recording here
Resource | Built Environment Recommendations - The Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends built environment approaches that combine one or more interventions to improve pedestrian or bike transportations systems with land use or community design interventions.The Resource Guide includes potential steps to consider for planning and implementation. A few of our favorite resources include:  How to Create and Implement Healthy General Plans - A Toolkit for Building Healthy, Vibrant Communities and   Getting the Wheels Rolling: A Guide to Using Policy to Create Bicycle Friendly Communities.  
Resource | GROWING LOCAL: A Community Guide to Planning for Agriculture and Food Systems  This guide seeks to help communities remove public policy barriers and advance policy solutions to strengthen community food systems. It shares best practices and provides a comprehensive collection of local policies available to help community members work with public and private partners to advance food system planning, policy, and public investment. Find the resource here
Funding and Awards
Grant Program for Transporting Healthy Food - The Conservation Fund and CSX have announced their fifth round of funding to alleviate the transportation and related operation gaps that organizations face in distributing fresh food to markets in vulnerable and underserved populations. The grants can support a range of activities related to transportation in the food system including fresh veggies vans and produce boxes for farmers markets. Grants range from $2,500 to $10,000. Applications are due by Friday, September 28, 2018. Find more information and application instructions here
Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission  - The Maryland Sustainable Growth Awards celebrate significant achievement by individuals, businesses, organizations and local governments to realize the 12 planning visions adopted by the Maryland General Assembly. The annual awards promote exemplary work that represents or inspires collaboration, innovation, conservation, community impact and quality of life. Nominate a project, organization or individual for a Sustainable Growth Award b5 pm on Friday, September 21, 2018. Application and information details can be found here. 
About Us
HEAL is a project of the Institute for Public Health Innovation in  partnership with the Maryland and Virginia Municipal Leagues and funded by Kaiser Permanente, founding partner.

For more information on the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign, p lease visit the website at or contact HEAL Campaign Associate, Julia Groenfeldt at
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