Public Health

Posted on: March 24, 2015

Linn County, Iowa Receives Grant Funding from the American Planning Association

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CEDAR RAPIDS, IA - The Planning Healthy Iowa Communities Coalition has received a $130,000 grant from the American Planning Association through its Plan4Health program to combat two determinants of chronic disease—lack of physical activity and lack of access to nutritious foods. Planning Healthy Iowa Communities is a collaborative effort between the Iowa Public Health Association and the American Planning Association Iowa Chapter to connect planners and public health officials across Iowa to improve the health of Iowans and advance the concept of Health in All Policies. This Plan4Health grant project will be implemented by a coalition of organizations in Linn County, Iowa.

Plan4Health is a 15-month program that strengthens the connection between planning and public health. Seventy-five percent of the Plan4Health program’s funding supports local and state coalitions working to advance public health through better planning and partnerships. The program is implemented in partnership with the American Public Health Association (APHA) and represents a major new collaboration between planners and public health professionals. Funding for Plan4Health was provided through a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“This is an exciting new opportunity to improve the health of our communities through diverse partnerships,” said Anna Ricklin, AICP, manager of APA’s Planning and Community Health Center. “Collaboration is key if we want to continue to create communities of lasting value that are equitable and healthy for all residents.”

The program is administered through APA’s Planning and Community Health Center, is dedicated to integrating community health issues into local and regional planning practices by advancing research, outreach, education and policy.

Planning Healthy Iowa Communities – Linn County Coalition to increase opportunities for physical activity and improve nutrition, especially among low-income Linn County residents. The coalition will oversee two main projects. One will help improve how streets and cities are designed to encourage physical activity and will be implemented by the Active Living Coalition, which consists of representatives from Blue Zones Project® Cedar Rapids and Marion, the Cities of Marion and Cedar Rapids, Corridor Metropolitan Planning Organization, and Linn County Public Health. The other will provide technical assistance to food pantries to increase healthy food options and to city planners about the role of food pantries; this project will be mainly implemented by the Hawkeye Area Community Action Program, Inc. (HACAP) and overseen by the Linn County Food Systems Council. The Iowa Chapter of the American Planning Association and the Iowa Public Health Association will work together to create a state-level coalition to advise and disseminate the Linn County project successes while advancing the concept of Health in All Policies.

In addition to Planning Healthy Iowa Communities – Linn County Coalition being selected, 17 other coalitions across the country also received funding:
1. Eastern Highlands Health District Community Health Response Team; Eastern Highlands, Connecticut
2. Healthy Savannah, Inc.; Chatham County Georgia
3. Health Transformers; Vista Neighborhood, Boise, Idaho
4. B-Well Bensenville Plan4Health Coalition; Bensenville, Illinois
5. Kane County Planning Cooperative; Kane County, Illinois
6. Reach Healthy Communities; Columbus Indiana
7. Health by Design; Indianapolis/Marion County, Indiana
8. Kenton County Plan4Health Coalition; Kenton County, Kentucky
9. Inner Core Community Health Improvement Coalition; Metro Boston, Massachusetts
10. Healthy Eating, Active Living Partnership- Active Living Workgroup; St. Louis, Missouri
11. Plan4Health- Nashua, an initiative of the Greater Nashua Public Health Network; Nashua, New Hampshire
12. Trenton Healthy Communities Initiative; Trenton, New Jersey
13. Live Well Kingston; Kingston, New York
14. Columbus Public Health- Chronic Disease Prevention Advisory Board; Columbus, Ohio
15. Plan 4 Health Summit County; Summit County, Ohio
16. Austin-Vamonos Rundberg Coalition; Rundberg Neighborhood, Austin, Texas
17. Capital Region Healthy Communities; Dane County, Wisconsin

For more information about the Plan4Health program, visit www.plan4health.us or follow the hashtag #Plan4Health on Twitter.

About the American Planning Association: The American Planning Association is an independent, not- for-profit educational organization that provides leadership in the development of vital communities. APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the art, science and profession of good planning -- physical, economic and social -- so as to create communities that offer better choices for where and how people work and live. Members of APA help create communities of lasting value and encourage civic leaders, business interests and citizens to play a meaningful role in creating communities that enrich people's lives. APA has offices in Washington, D.C., and Chicago. For more information, visit www.planning.org.

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