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Contact Info

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Healthy Communities Program
4770 Buford Highway, N.E., Mailstop K-93
Atlanta, GA 30341-3717

Telephone: (770) 488-6452
Fax: (770) 488-8488

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Steps in the News

Health Campaign Recognized For Its Outstanding Achievement
June 5, 2008—The Steps Program in Salinas, California, received the nation’s highest honor for public relations—the Public Relations Society of America’s Silver Anvil—in two categories. Brown·Miller Communications, a cause-oriented communications firm based in California, developed a comprehensive, integrated social marketing campaign that invited the entire city of Salinas, Calif., to mobilize and embrace change. The campaign, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), brought about partnerships, policies, and promotions that fundamentally changed the health of Salinas, contributing to unprecedented improvements in health behaviors and a marked decrease in the obesity and diabetes rates. In addition, this multitiered campaign focused on improving the health of the Salinas’ Latino community, which makes up 70% of the city’s population. The campaign contributed to a remarkable 12% increase in healthy weight for Salinas’ Latino population. More information is available at*
(for Award 1 category: Community Relations – Government) and*
(for Award 2 category: Multicultural Public Relations – Government)

For a complete presentation about this successful campaign and colorful photos of its health messages, such as outdoor murals and stair graphics promoting fruits and vegetables and physical activity, visit (PDF2.1M).*

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New Nationwide Health-Oriented Vending Program Unveiled
April 16, 2008 —The nation’s vending industry will unveil tomorrow a new nationwide health-oriented vending program—Fit Pick™—in Clark County, Washington, the National Automatic Merchandising Association President Richard M. Geerdes announced today. The new program includes a host of vending materials designed to educate consumers about products that meet specific nutritional standards, and is being launched in Clark County by Community Choices and the Steps Program in Clark County, Washington.

Geerdes commented, “Across the country, organizations are looking to integrate health and wellness into their vending programs, but typically they have no idea where to begin or how to do it. Our Fit Pick program is easy to use and can help anyone with vending machines promote products that meet specific nutrition guidelines. We applaud Clark County for showing such initiative on this project, and for working so hard to improve the health of its citizens.” More information about the program is available at*

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2008 Steps Community Heroes Honored
March 20, 2008—Seven community heroes were honored at the Steps Cooperative Agreement Program’s Action Institute in Alexandria, Virginia, for their extraordinary contributions in improving the health and well-being of Americans in school, work site, health care, or community settings.

"Turning the tide in chronic disease requires changes in our communities that support health where we live, learn, work and play," said Janet Collins, Ph.D., director, CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. "These award recipients demonstrate the valuable impact that individuals can make in changing the places, organizations, policies, and systems that touch people’s lives every day."

The recipients of the 2008 Steps Community Heroes Award are Ray Denniston of Conklin, New York; Peggy Johns of Largo, Florida; Dawn Imler and Kelley Brumfield of Cleveland, Ohio; Woody Hansen of Jay, Oklahoma; Patty Tobal of Hopwood, Pennsylvania; and Stephanie Heim of Rochester, Minnesota. More information is available at

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Trans Fats Banned in Restaurants
Local Steps Programs played an important role in supporting the following successful legislative initiatives to improve the health of their communities in the fight against obesity and chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

  • March 13, 2008—Boston health officials voted to ban trans fat use in all restaurants in the city.

    When asked about the Steps Program in Boston’s involvement, Anne McHugh, Boston Steps Program Manager, explained, “We were asked to respond to our Board of Health's interest in how to limit trans fats. We compiled the information, and I did a presentation at two board meetings. Kathy Cunningham, our nutritionist, visited restaurants—including a variety of small neighborhood ethnic restaurants—to get their input on whether they use trans fat, in what types of recipes, and what type of help they'd like in coming into compliance with the ban. We also helped to write the basic information sheets for restaurants that Boston health officials are distributing. Steps has received approval to hire a consultant to do outreach and technical assistance to restaurants and other food service establishments. Lastly, we've given a lot of technical assistance to Boston Public Schools Food and Nutrition Services, to make sure that they'll be ready to come into compliance in the fall.” More information is available at*
  • July 19, 2007—The King County Board of Health voted to ban trans fat use in all restaurants in the county and require menu labeling in chain restaurants. The Steps Program in King County, Washington, played an important role in mobilizing community residents and constituents from community-based organizations and the health sector to support this effort.

    For example, according to Gail Tanaka, King County Steps to Health’s Health Policy Development and Coalition coordinator, “A volunteer who teaches label reading on grocery store tours talked about how consumers need the same information when dining in restaurants. A limited-English speaking person talked about how a ban on trans fats would make it unnecessary for her to seek out this information with the complications of language barriers. Physicians talked about how the legislation would help their patients to follow dietary restrictions and advice.” More information is available at
  • February 8, 2007— Philadelphia City Council voted to ban trans fat use in all restaurants in the city.

    When asked about the Steps Program in Philadelphia’s involvement, Christine Hall, Philadelphia Steps Program Manager, explained, “I provided information regarding the nutrition education efforts that would be needed to increase consumer's awareness about the dangers of trans fat in the diet. This information was subsequently used in the testimony presented to City Council in January 2007. Steps staff were instrumentally involved in developing a Trans Fat Educational Information Packet for all the restaurant owners in Philadelphia. We also provided technical assistance training for all of the city's food sanitarians from Environmental Health Services.” More information is available at (PDF67K)

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School Lunch Report Card Winner Announced
August 14, 2007—Pinellas County Schools, the 22nd largest district in the nation, was rated the top district in the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine’s (PCRM) 2007 School Lunch Report Card on elementary schools. PCRM’s team of dietitians graded schools based on criteria in three major categories: Obesity and Chronic Disease Prevention, Health Promotion and Nutrition Adequacy, and Nutrition Initiatives. One of Pinellas’ activities highlighted by PCRM is "an innovative nutrition education program" called Teen Cuisine where older students partner with local chefs to create cooking shows for younger children. The shows, supported by the Steps Program in Pinellas County, Florida, feature healthy recipes consistent with the food service department’s Health Tips of the Month. More information is available at*

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2007 Steps Community Heroes Honored
June 6, 2007—Seven Community Heroes were honored at the annual Steps Cooperative Agreement Program Workshop and Action Institute held in Seattle, Washington. The Steps Community Heroes Awards Program is a new initiative, established in April 2007, honoring individuals who have made outstanding contributions to improve the health and well-being of others in their communities. These Steps Heroes are making significant and sustainable contributions in local schools, work sites, health care, and community settings by making their communities a healthier place to live. The Steps Heroes demonstrate a passionate commitment to the Steps initiatives and to reducing the burden of chronic diseases, particularly obesity, diabetes, asthma, and their related risk behaviors— physical inactivity, poor nutrition, and tobacco use. The inaugural recipients of the 2007 Steps Community Heroes Award are Rev. Ken Feske of Seaside, California; Bruce and Brenda Hendricks of Cherry Creek, New York; Rob Moffat of Cleveland, Ohio; Marcella Morton of Westville, Oklahoma; Florence Wager of Vancouver, Washington; and Alan Wilmarth of Hallstead, Pennsylvania. More information is available at

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*Links to non-Federal organizations are provided solely as a service to our users. Links do not constitute an endorsement of any organization by CDC or the Federal Government, and none should be  inferred. The CDC is not responsible for the content of the individual organization Web pages found at this link.

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Page last reviewed: January 27, 2010
Page last modified: January 27, 2010
Content source: Division of Adult and Community Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

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