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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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August/September 2007 NEWSLETTER

Posted September 11, 2007

Topics in this newsletter:

Seattle/King County Trans-Fat Ban Highlighting Steps Efforts……Great Example of Policy Work!

A big community victory occurred in Seattle as King County became the first county in the nation (following NYC’s lead) to both ban trans fat in all restaurants and require menu labeling in chain restaurants. Steps played an important role in mobilizing constituents from community-based organizations (CBOs), community residents and the health sector to support this effort. (

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Pinellas County, FL…Rated First in the Nation by the National School Lunch Report Card

Every year, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) dietitians analyzes the elementary school meals available at 22 of the largest districts that participate in the National School Lunch Program. Pinellas County is this year’s top-rated school! PCRM highlighted the variety of options available to Pinellas County school students, including a number of vegetarian options, free juice, and soy milk, which made Pinellas County stand out. The Committee also highlighted the Steps–supported nutrition education program called Teen Cuisine where older students partner with local chefs to create cooking shows for younger children. The shows feature healthy recipes consistent with the food service department’s “Health Tips of the Month.” In addition, from 2006–2007, two nutrition education specialists gave nutrition education lessons to nearly half of all elementary students on the benefits of eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. As a result of Steps efforts, Pinellas County has improved steadily over time, from receiving a B in 2003 to becoming the nation’s leading school in healthy options. Way to go Pinellas County!

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Medicare Prevention Bus Tour…..DeKalb County, Alabama, and Pinellas/Hillsborough Community Visits

In April, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched A Healthier US Starts Here prevention bus tour that focuses on motivating seniors and others to make the most of preventive services. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is one of an array of HHS agencies participating in the initiative.

The CMS prevention bus tour, which wraps up in August, visited each of the 48 continental United States to promote conversations between people with Medicare, families, caregivers, health professionals, and community organizations. During the nationwide tour, the CMS bus visited several Steps communities, including Luzerne County, PA, Dekalb County, GA, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties in FL and Alabama. Visits also are planned for Seattle, WA, California, and Arizona, which all have Steps communities.

The visit to Dekalb County on July 20, 2007, resulted in a successful event that garnered media coverage and also was highlighted on the “CDC Connects” Internet page. CDC Director Julie Gerberding, MD, MPH, along with Roger Perez, HHS regional administrator, and Chris Downing, HHS regional director, participated in the event, which was held at The Lou Walker Senior Center, a partner of the DeKalb County Steps Program. Atlanta’s FOX 5 News affiliate featured the story during the local news broadcast.

Subsequent visits to Pinellas and Hillsborough counties and Alabama, held July 25–26, 2007, also were successful and emphasized the importance of Steps' main objectives to increase healthier behaviors and improve the quality of life for all Americans.

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Institute of Medicine Roundtable Meeting on Health Disparities.......Steps Communities Well Represented

The IOM Roundtable was held at the Harris-Stowe State University and had paper presentations on the Eight Americas: Investigating Mortality Disparities across Races, Counties, and Race-Counties in the United States by Christopher Murray, and Clinical and Community-development Approaches to Reducing Disparities by Edward Lawlor and Carol Horowitz.

Lisa Pivec from the Cherokee Nation Steps Program and Mary McFadden from the New York Steps Program in Broome County both presented on the work they are doing to reach at risk populations. Capt. Nancy Williams presented an overview of the Steps Program and how it tied the clinical and community development approaches together. Janis Campbell from the Oklahoma REACH program and Charmaine Ruddock from the Bronx Health Reach program also shared some of their successful activities. The meeting was a great opportunity for Steps communities to spread the word about the work they are doing to address health disparities.

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Steps Program Office Updates……Steps Website (success stories and heroes speeches) and Program Staff

Steps Web site
Since our last newsletter, we are pleased to announce the posting of three additional “Community Success Stories.” Please visit this link to read about successful chronic disease prevention activities taking place in Chelan, Douglas, and Okanagon counties in Washington State, Colorado, and Fayette, PA. In addition, please visit this link to view the video clips of the acceptance speeches from our 2007 Steps Heroes Award winners.

Program Staff
Maisha Kambon will be attending The University of South Florida’s Applied Anthropology program, concentrating on Medical Anthropology and Community Health. She will continue to work part-time with the Steps Program, working on the community success stories compilation and other Steps program publications and documents. We wish Maisha much success with her exciting new opportunity!

Kathy Heiden has accepted a detail to the CDC’s Division of Injury Response, Office of the Director, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC), Coordinating Center for Environmental Health and Injury Control (CCEHIC). Kathy will be reporting to the Division of Injury Response for the next 4 months. She will be conducting a systematic review of published research related to the efficacy of universal design features for preventing elderly falls; revising the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for several Core State Injury programs; supporting the State Injury Prevention Director’s Association as well as supporting the dissemination and promotion of the division’s launching of the Youth Sports Traumatic Brain Injury Prevention Toolkit. We wish Kathy a great experience with her detail.

Stella Cory, MD, MPH, joined the Steps Program as part of the Surveillance and Evaluation Team on August 20, 2007 as a health scientist. She is coming from the Prevention Effectiveness and Health Economics Branch, Career Development Division where she was the program lead evaluator. Her educational background includes a Medical Degree from the Samarkand Medical School in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, and a masters degree from Emory University in Health Policy and Management.

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Change in Division Name…..Welcome to the “New” DNPA

On June 21, CDC’s Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity name was changed to the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO). Among other changes, the new DNPAO features a separate branch devoted to obesity science and a new branch focused on accelerating the translation and application of evidence-based programs.

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Heart Healthy and Stroke Free: A Social Environment Handbook…..just published

Heart Healthy and Stroke Free: A Social Environment Handbook, released by the CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, includes specific strategies for identifying barriers for heart-healthy and stroke-free living in local environments. It is written for a broad audience (e.g., concerned community and state leaders along with public health professionals) and is unique in that it focuses on the connections between the social environment and preventing and treating heart disease and stroke. All of the specific examples, tables, and worksheets relate directly to heart disease and stroke risk factors, prevention challenges, and treatment issues. For copies or inquiries, please e-mail

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Oral Health’s How to Book…..New CDC Resource to States on How to “Sell” Their Programs
The CDC’s Division of Oral Health has a newly developed tool, Impact and Value: Telling Your Program's Story that provides state public health programs with practical methods for documenting program achievements. The workbook defines a success story, describes different types of stories, and discusses methods for collecting and writing stories. A data collection tool is also provided. To request a copy of the workbook, contact or

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Upcoming Conferences of Interest....... For Steps Grantees and Partners

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Page last reviewed: May 2, 2008
Page last modified: July 29, 2008
Content source: Division of Adult and Community Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

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