As we kick off a new decade, the HEAL Campaign would like to reflect on the numerous successes and accomplishments of our member cities and towns. In 2019, the Campaign: 

  • Reached 68 members across MD and VA 
  • Recognized 6 VA members at the VA Municipal League Conference 
  • Recognized 4 MD members at the MD Municipal League Conference 
  • Awarded 5 new Platinum members in MD and VA 
  • Awarded 9 cities and towns funding through the HEAL Implementation Grant program

The HEAL Campaign congratulates all our cities and towns for your commitment to helping residents access healthier opportunities to live, work, and play. 

As we welcome a new year, we encourage all our cities and towns to recommit to your HEAL resolution goals and identify policy priorities that will help increase healthy eating and active living opportunities in your communities. To help you get started, we invite you to take a look at our updated HEAL Policy Menu. This guide includes action steps, supporting resources, and sample policies to help you implement HEAL policies in your city or town. Whether you’re interested in adopting a new policy to stripe crosswalks, requiring healthy grocery store check-out lanes, establishing a healthy vending policy, or addressing health equity in your community, we’re here to help. As always, if you have any questions or would like further resources to help move your policy goals forward, please feel free to contact us

This month we’re highlighting the Platinum HEAL City of Hopewell, VA. Since joining the HEAL Campaign in 2015, this City has made tremendous efforts to create an environment where residents can live healthy, active lives. Check out the recent article from Greater Greater Washington on how Hopewell is implementing complete streets projects through intersection improvements, bike lanes, pedestrian facilities, and more.

Podcast | On the Evidence: Soda Taxes in U.S. Cities -- This podcast discusses a new report on the impact of soda taxes. The hosts speak with the report's lead investigators about the impact of these taxes on purchases, consumption, prices, and product availability after cities like Oakland, San Fransisco, Philadelphia, and Seattle increased taxes on soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages. 

Resource | Walk With Ease Program -- The Walk With Ease Program is 6 a week, self-guided walking program that can easily be implemented in the municipal workplace, parks & recreation, or community wellness programs. Participants will receive resources, online tools, videos, and tracking tools to help implement the program. Join the informational webinar on January 14 to learn more.  

Article |  Schools, universities, hospitals… cities’ new allies to change the food system -- This article from Urban Food Futures discusses the ways that institutions, like hospitals, schools, or even city governments, can use purchasing power to support a healthier food system. Read about the power of institutional change and the support that city government can provide to move towards a healthier, more sustainable, and equitable food system. 

Webinar | Walking into the New Year (January 8, 2020) -- Join America Walks for the first webinar of the new year for a discussion on innovative community programs and partnerships that promote walking and walkab ility. Hear from walking advocates on how they’ve been championing this work in communities throughout the county.

Article | 50 Reasons Why Everyone Should Want More Walkable Streets -- A new report uses various studies to quantify the many benefits of walkable communities. This article from Fast Company provides an excellent summary of the report and the key reasons why walkability should be a top priority for your city, town, or county.

Connections for Cardiovascular Health Next Generation Grants – This grant provides funding up to $150,000 to organizations, including nonprofits and municipal institutions, working to improve cardiovascular health at the community level. Programs should apply one of six community-level approaches commonly used to improve cardiovascular health. Applicants from rural communities are encouraged to apply. Applications are due by February 21, 2020. An informational webinar will be held on January 16, 3 PM EST. 

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, please visit the website, www.healcitiesmidatlantic.org  or contact HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign Manager, Sydney Daigle at Sdaigle@institutephi.org