Actions Speak Louder (by Guest Blogger Michele Hislop)

Introduction

ImageAs part of my work with Yamhill County Public Health, I am advocating that McMinnville, Oregon take the pledge to become a Healthy Eating, Active Living City, also known as HEAL. This pledge will not only benefit the city of McMinnville it will  help the Health Department increase public awareness of the rising obesity rates, enhance educational resources, promote HEAL activities,  bring awareness to needed policy changes, and provide guidance to the smaller outlying communities that need greater access to Healthy Eating and Active living promotion.

Part I: Research Collection

Source 1

Juila A. Dilley, Jennifer R. Reuer, Victor Colman, and Robbi Kay Norman.  “Steps to a Healthier Washington: From Making Pamphlets to Making Policies: Results From a Collaborative Training To Increase Knowledge, Motivation, and Self-Efficacy for Achieving Public Health Policy and Systems Change Health Promotion Practice.” April 2009 10: 138S-145S, doi:10.1177/1524839909332601. Web 26 MAY 2013.  This journal was found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. It talks about a study done in Washington, around general training for employees on how to implement policies and systems changes within the public health arena along with collaboration of other community organizations. The outcomes showed this training had positive effects on the state of Washington’s Public Health systems. Giving concrete examples on how an organization could implement a start up training program in their area.

Commentary:

This is part of the Public Health education, and it covers six areas of disease prevention that I thought would be a good fit for my overall theme. It points out the importance of education and collaboration between health organizations and describes the importance of changing policies inside the community to promote change. The fact that the training was successful in Washington provides a good example for the city of McMinnville. It was successful in breaking down barriers to communication and opening up collaboration with multiple organizations that sever different sects of the community while pulling them together to serve more people. It reiterated the fact that community plays a large role in access and education to decrease negative health impacts and increase healthier eating and active living within a community. The fact that it is from CDC is also very impactful and I feel is a valuable source.

Source 2

Bernards Guyer, et al. “A New Framework For Childhood Health Promotion: The Role Of Policies And Programs In Building Capacity And Foundations Of Early Childhood Health.” American Journal Of Public Health 102.9 (2012): 1688-1696. Education Full Text (H.W.Wilson). Web. 26 May 2013.  This article was found in the Shoen Library and is posted in the American Journal of Public Health within the last year. It looks at key factors that are important to earlier childhood health education and how it pertains to the foundations of lifelong health for individuals. It explains the role that community and parenting have in the development of a child. Going key factors that inhibit the education and environment needed to promote the early development of children around healthy eating, active living.

Commentary:

It shows key factors or a framework that “policies and programs can use to promote childhood health outcomes and ultimately have an impact on life-course health”. Showing factors that get in the way or  hinder a child from learning healthy behaviors.  There are specific areas that contribute to the education of a child, which I found to be relevant to my theme. They are family capacities, community capacities, and linking the foundations of health-to-health outcomes. There are subcategories that also need to be addressed within each area, Family Capacities:  which is comprised of financial resources, time investments, psychological resources, human capital, and health literacyCommunity Capacities: here they look at institutional resources and collective efficacy, Linking the foundations: this is where children receive their health education opportunities looking at responsive care giving, safe and secure environments, adequate and appropriate nutrition, and heath-promotion behaviors. These are all significant areas that need to be considered when health promotion is concerned and gives credence to the role that community plays around health education. I like the evidenced based practices that are talked about here, the fact that they show how you can link childhood policies and procedures to subsequent heath outcomes is vitally important to my theme.

Source 3

Karnik, Sameera, and Amar, Kanekar. “Childhood Obesity: A Global Public

Health Crisis.” International Journal of Preventive Medicine 3.1 (2012): 1-7. Academic Search Complete. Web. 26 May 2013.  This article was published by the International Journal of Preventive Medicine and pulled from Shoen library. The article examines the health risks that childhood obesity present for adulthood and for future generations. It notes a variety of interventions, stating that learning healthy eating and activities in children make marked changes for their future health.

Commentary:

What I want to pull out of this article is the information on how the community plays such a large part in health promotion and access for children, families and individuals.  It touches on community-based interventions and how important the community is in promoting and granting access to healthy living and ultimately, that one’s local community is the starting point for all health based education, health promotion and access for its community members. By using this information, I am hoping to back up my argument that McMinnville should become an Healthy Eating, Active Living” Cities as Wilsonville, Oregon, did.

Source 4

Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Section. “Oregon Overweight, Obesity,

Physical Activity and Nutrition Facts.” Portland, Oregon: Oregon Department of Human Services, Oregon Public Health Division, 2012.  This is a document distributed by the Oregon Public Health Division, It contains current health statistics in Oregon and was put out in 2012. Because it is the Oregon State’s Public Health department its has the most current and up-to-date information. Giving statistics on obesity, nutrition, physical activity and chronic disease all pulled together in this one document and is sectioned off by counties.

Commentary:

This article will back up and help promote the idea of becoming a HEAL city by giving up-to-date statistics. In addition, it talks about the budget crisis and how the government has an interest in decreasing healthcare cost noting,

“In Oregon, medical costs related to obesity among adults were estimated to have reached 1.6 billion in 2006…In addition, obese persons are estimate to have annual medial cost that are $1,429 higher than non-obese persons”. Because of such large healthcare cost in 2007 three task forces were developed and all three are …”address(ing) obesity and diabetes in Oregon… (and) …recommended statewide community obesity prevention among their top priorities.”

It states additional laws that have passed that promote healthy eating, physical education, and labeling. Showing statistic on the vegetable consumption for Oregon adults, “Only about a fourth of adult Oregonians eat recommended amounts – five or more servings per day – of fruits and vegetables. For 11th graders, fruit and vegetable consumption is even lower…”  It gives support that, “Obesity is a preventable disease and shows it occurs in predisposed children and adults living in environments that promote eating too many calories and to little physical activity. Like other chronic diseases, prevention is the optimal approach and is our major hope to address this public health crisis”.  This document will allow me to give concrete statistics and back up the positive health promotion that is needed for becoming a HEAL city.

 

Part II: Public Writing

Michele Hislop

June 1, 2013

City Council and Mayor

City Manager’s Office

City Hall

230 NE 2nd Street

McMinnville, OR 97128

Dear Rick Olsen and Esteemed Council Members:

My name is Michele Hislop, and I’m writing to advocate for your support on promoting our wonderful city as a Healthy Eating, Active Living city, also known as “HEAL Cities, Campaign.” As a local healthcare provider and Public Health volunteer, I see the importance of decreasing the impact of obesity, increasing community access, and promoting a proactive community that sustains the health and wellness of its community members.

The purpose of the HEAL Cities Campaign is to promote and support communities through land use, healthy food retail, and workplace wellness policies, all areas that are Public Health department tirelessly try to promote. As stated by the Oregon Public Health Division, “Obesity is a preventable disease… Like other chronic diseases, prevention is the optimal approach and is our major hope to address this public health crisis.” This campaign will give more possibilities for additional funding, recognition, and help with navigating policy changes and back up our efforts as a city. Taking part in the HEAL Cities Campaign, McMinnville, will be showing its level of commitment to the health of its community members.

I think making the promise to be a part of the “HEAL Cities Campaign” will show the public our dedication to supporting a healthy community. In turn, we also become strong positive role models for the smaller outlying communities looking for guidance in promoting Healthy Eating, Active Living within their town. I am willing to participate in this process and I have attached a copy of the Healthy Eating, Active Living City rating checklist for your convenience.

Thank you for your support.

Sincerely,

Michele Hislop, LMT

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