|N.C. Institute for Public Health’s Active Living By Design to manage new RWJF awards|
|December 03, 2008|
Nine communities across the United States have been awarded up to $400,000 each by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to lead an ambitious effort to reverse the nation's childhood obesity epidemic. The program, part of a $44 million initiative, is managed by the University of North Carolina's Active Living By Design.
Active Living By Design was established in 2001 as a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and is part of the North Carolina Institute for Public Health at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.
The program is a major part of RWJF's five-year, $500 million commitment to reverse the obesity epidemic in the United States by 2015. Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities builds upon Active Living By Design's past successes working with community-based initiatives. In addition to their prior successes with 25 national Active Living by Design program grantees, the UNC-based organization has provided support to nearly 40 North Carolina communities.
"Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities will be a cornerstone of our work
into the next decade," said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, RWJF president and chief
executive officer. "It's one of the largest community-action programs ever
supported by the Foundation and one that holds great potential for changing
many people's lives."
The sites chosen to lead this initiative are urban and rural, large and small. They include Chicago; Columbia, Mo.; Louisville, Ky.; Seattle; Somerville, Mass.; Washington, D.C.; and Baldwin Park, Central Valley and Oakland in California.
partnerships of neighborhood associations, nonprofit organizations and public
agencies, all sites are pursuing an array of strategies to reshape their
communities and promote active living and healthy eating - from farmers'
markets in public schoolyards, to community gardens, new bicycle lanes, wider
sidewalks, healthier corner stores and even a pedestrian-only boulevard on
"The transformation of these communities will provide the
rest of the nation clear direction on how we must change the environment around
us to support children's health rather than be a barrier to healthy behaviors,"
said Active Living By Design director Sarah Strunk, MHA. "It also relies upon the power
of community partnerships working toward a common vision."
The nine communities will receive four-year grants to broaden or accelerate changes already underway. In each, special emphasis is being placed upon reaching children who are at greatest risk of obesity because of their income, race or ethnicity.
Seattle's partners, for
example, will focus on engaging young immigrant families in four public housing
developments across King County. Part of Louisville's work will concentrate on
a corner-store strategy in a dozen primarily African-American neighborhoods. The
city of Washington, D.C., plans to establish a "saturation index" of unhealthy
food vendors to help tackle obesity and overweight in two lower-income wards.
As these leading sites move forward, so does the next phase of Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities. On Dec. 3, RWJF released a call for proposals for the second round of funding under the program. In December 2009, it will award four-year grants of up to $360,000 to about 60 communities.
The deadline for brief proposals is Feb. 3. Partnerships
from across the United States and its territories are eligible to apply.
Preference will be given to applicants from communities in 15 states where the
prevalence of or risk for childhood obesity is particularly high: Alabama,
Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New
Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and West
to download the call for proposals and obtain additional information, including
profiles of each leading community and its plans for change.
Complete details also are available at www.rwjf.org/childhoodobesity.
# # #
Note: Questions for Sarah Strunk may be addressed to Mark Dessauer, director of communications, Active Living By Design, (919) 843-3077 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Last updated January 09, 2009|