Tuesday, June 1, 2010

North Charleston selected for national health & wellness effort

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD), the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), and the YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) selected North Charleston and 39 other U.S. communities to advance the nation’s efforts to prevent chronic diseases and related risk factors through local collaboration. Action Communities for Health, Innovation, and EnVironmental ChangE (ACHIEVE) is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Healthy Communities Program. ACHIEVE brings leaders together from all sectors of a region to build healthier communities by promoting policy, systems, and environmental change strategies that focus on physical activity, nutrition, tobacco cessation, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

The ACHIEVE approach promotes health through lifestyle and environmental improvements, such as safe locations for physical activity and increased access to healthy food options at schools, worksites, places of worship and in the general community.

ACHIEVE combines the expertise of state and local governments and public health departments with the experience of community-based organizations that presently provide support and outreach. North Charleston, like the other 39 ACHIEVE communities, will engage and mobilize leaders in the local community to respond to the public health challenges of obesity, physical inactivity, and poor nutrition.

“We are not the healthiest nation by a long shot,” said Robert M. Pestronk, NACCHO’s executive director. “These partnerships create intentional momentum in the right direction, based on successful strategies at work, home, and play to reduce our nation’s burden of chronic disease.”

The South Carolina DHEC Public Health Region 7 office was selected for ACHIEVE after a competitive review process. The local effort addresses the critical issue of obesity and the availability of healthy food in the southern end of the City of North Charleston through assessment and planning in the first year of the grant.

North Charleston Mayor R. Keith Summey stated, “Our local health departments play a key role in providing a cohesive response to lifestyle and health challenges through a team based approach. By establishing a network of community organizations, ACHIEVE increases the opportunities and awareness of active living and healthy eating. Laying a foundation for positive lifestyle choices allows for the reduction of chronic diseases that would otherwise plague our community in the future. Mayor Summey continued, “I salute our local ACHIEVE and their key initiative to increase accessibility to healthy foods in the southernmost portions of North Charleston.”

For a complete listing of all funded communities, visit the ACHIEVE website at www.achievecommunities.org or CDC’s Healthy Communities Program’s website at www.cdc.gov/healthycommunitiesprogram. Find North Charleston information at www.northcharleston.org.

Members serving on the North Charleston ACHIEVE team include:

  • Karla Beckwith, MUS, RD, LD, Director of Nutrition/Clinic Manager, SC DHEC Region 7
  • Anne Bergin, Director of Health, Trident United Way
  • Sharon Crossley, RDH, MPH, Health Educator, SC DHEC Region 7
  • Vonie Gilreath, Mobility Manager, BCD Council of Governments
  • Kyle Lahm, Coordinator, City of North Charleston Mayor’s Office on Ed., Youth and Family
  • Patricia Mack, Volunteer, Tri-County Black Nurses Association
  • Wannetta Mallette, CMP Project Manager, LAMC, City of North Charleston & SCSPA
  • Dr. Lisa Robinson, Community & Faith-Based Advocate
  • Katy Simison, Magnet Coordinator, Chicora School of Communications
  • Brenda Strople, RN, District 4 Nurse Liaison, CCSD Office of Health Services
  • Dr. Gwendolyn Todd-Houston, Director, Franklin C Fetter Clinic
  • Deborah Williamson DHA, MSN, CNM, Associate Dean of Practice, MUSC College of Nursing

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) represents the nation's 2800 local governmental health departments. These city, county, metropolitan, district, and tribal departments protect and promote the health and well-being of their communities.


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