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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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Posted July 16, 2008

This newsletter covers the following topics:

Steps Program Office Message…In Memoriam

It is with deep sadness that the Steps Program Office conveys the news of the recent passing of our colleague Kathleen Heiden. Kathy, a Public Health Service Commissioned Corps officer, began her work in the Steps Program Office in 2003. She was a dedicated project officer who cared deeply about the Steps communities. Her goddaughter, her family, and her dog, Holly, were very important to her and brought her great happiness. Kathy battled with breast cancer for several years and passed on Wednesday, May 21st, from an infection. She was with her family in Colorado at the time. Kathy will be greatly missed. Donations can be made in her memory to the Susan G. Komen Foundation at Susan G. Komen for the Cure 5005 LBJ Freeway, Suite 250 Dallas, TX 75244.

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July Steps Event…Program Managers Meeting in Atlanta

The Steps Program Managers Peer-to-Peer Meeting is scheduled for July 17–18, 2008, in Atlanta, Georgia. This special meeting has been created specifically for the program managers of the Steps-funded communities. The meeting will provide a networking opportunity for Steps grantees to garner institutional knowledge of individual and collective grantee successes and lessons learned.

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Salinas Steps…Prestigious Health Campaign Awards

California’s Salinas Steps Program, in collaboration with the Monterey County Health Department and Brown•Miller Communications, captured two of the nation’s highest public relations honors for the “Value It” campaign. The two Silver Anvil awards, presented from the Public Relations Society of America, represent significant achievement in Community Relations and Multicultural Public Relations. The “Value It” campaign, which promotes the importance of one’s health, contributed to a remarkable 12% increase in the number of people with healthy weight in Salinas’ Latino population. For a complete presentation about this successful campaign and colorful photos of its health messages, such as the three outdoor murals and the stair graphics promoting fruits and vegetables and physical activity (shown below), visit* (PDF)

Three outdoor murals promoting physical activity and good nutrition Artwork on stairs promoting fruits and vegetables for healthy eating

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Clark County Steps…National ‘Fit Pick’ Vending Program

The nation's vending industry has unveiled a new health-oriented vending program with the support of the Clark County Steps Program in Washington. The Fit PickTM program helps consumers select healthy choices from vending machines. Fit Pick* uses standardized sets of nutrition guidelines based on the American Heart Association recommendations for a healthy diet and is available to vending operators nationwide through the National Automated Merchandising Association. The identification system is designed to be recognizable throughout the country. To support the program, the Clark County Steps program developed step-by-step toolkits and print-ready promotional materials for vendors, work sites, schools, and communities.

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Cleveland Steps…Youth Marathon Program

The Cleveland Steps Program, in collaboration with the YMCA of Greater Cleveland and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, are encouraging healthy habits and exercise in Cleveland’s young people. Through the “We Run this City” Youth Marathon Program* young people are taught to set and achieve goals, increasing their self-confidence as well as their fitness and endurance. The program has two modules and students either run the final 1.2 miles of the marathon or the 10K (6.2 miles). In addition, two seventh graders—relative newcomers to the sport who had only run their first 10K the prior year—completed the half marathon. Almost 300 students, some of whom are shown in the photos below, participated in the May 2008 Rite Aid Marathon and covered more than 718 cumulative miles.

Youths marathon program participants running Youths marathon program participants with medals

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New Orleans Steps...High School Students Initiative

The New Orleans Steps Program and its contractor InnerLink have been working with the Recovery School District to provide peer-to-peer education and training to a group of high school students who have formed the "Your Steps Student Health Corps." These high school students have been leading this Steps initiative for the last several months and have caught the attention of National Geographic magazine. National Geographic will be doing a story on the daily lives of many of these Steps Student Health Corps members, including the fine work they are doing to promote New Orleans Steps activities.

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Southeast Alaska Steps…Bicycle Friendly Community Award

The Southeast Alaska city of Sitka was awarded a "bronze" level Bicycle Friendly Community* award by the League of American Bicyclists this year. The award was achieved through Southeast Alaska Steps Program’s collaborative efforts with the Sitka Bicycle Coalition. Regarding the awardees, League President Andy Clarke said, “These are all cities that are realizing the potential of bicycling to address the challenges of climate change, traffic congestion, rising obesity rates, and soaring fuel prices.”

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New York Steps…Taking its Message on the Road

The New York Steps Program* took Steps on the road in a "Steps Road Show" throughout New York State, beginning on May 28, 2008. The road show consisted of a series of four workshops during which New York Steps staff gave presentations on how to implement "no-cost" and "low-cost" Steps initiatives. The workshops, designed to promote the implementation of Steps initiatives throughout the state, were well received and a great success!

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Austin, Arizona, and King County Steps...ACHIEVE Action Institute Panelists

The CDC’s Division of Adult and Community Health, in partnership with the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors and National Y of the USA, held their first ACHIEVE (Action Communities for Health Innovation and Environmental Change) Action Institute June 10–12, 2008, in Alexandria, Virginia. ACHIEVE supports local health departments and YMCAs to advance community efforts to prevent chronic diseases and associated risk factors. The ACHIEVE Initiative brings together local leaders and stakeholders to build healthier communities by promoting health policy and environmental change strategies with a focus on obesity, diabetes, heart disease, healthy eating, physical activity, tobacco use, as well as chronic disease management. More than 150 people from 10 communities across the nation came together to learn firsthand from national and local experts about strategies to combat obesity and other chronic diseases in their communities.

Congratulations to the three Steps communities that were asked to present at this conference! They shared policy and environmental changes that they implemented while also providing participants with a "how to" model. Rick Schwertfeger, Austin’s Steps Program, presented on their worksite wellness programs. Magda Ciocazan, Arizona’s Steps Program, discussed the Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care (NAP SACC) program. Kathy Mertens, King County’s Steps Program in Washington, highlighted their chronic disease management work. All three Steps communities were also featured on a leadership panel. The leadership panel gave the Steps communities the opportunity to share how they successfully developed their leadership teams and their vision, as well as to discuss other topics of interest, such as consensus building, evaluation, and sustainability.

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Database Highlight…National Association of Counties’ Healthy Counties

Launched this month, the National Association of Counties’ (NACo) Healthy Counties Database* currently has more than 100 profiles of policies, programs, and initiatives that counties across the nation have implemented to create vibrant, healthy communities. You can search for initiatives under a variety of topics, such as healthy eating, built environment, partnership building, and physical activity. The “Healthy Choices Restaurant Program” of the Steps Program in Pinellas County, Florida, several initiatives of the Steps Program in Weld County, Colorado, and the Fit Pick™ Healthier Vending program of the Steps Program in Clark County, Washington, are already profiled in the database. NACo will continue to grow the database, so please send Christina Rowland information on your successful activities (, 202-942-4267).

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Book Highlight…Prevention is Primary: Strategies for Community Wellbeing

Prevention is Primary: Strategies for Community Wellbeing* is an academic text co-edited by Larry Cohen and Sana Chehimi of Prevention Institute, along with Vivian Chavez of San Francisco State University. Prevention Is Primary aims to move future practitioners from the margins of prevention to its core by defining the elements of quality prevention efforts, identifying best practices, and illustrating the application of prevention principles in a multitude of settings. Building on the knowledge of diverse disciplines and prevention leaders, the text frames prevention as an essential component of health and provides a conceptual and practical guide to the application of prevention methodologies across a wide range of contemporary health and social problems. For example, chapters in Section III: Prevention in Context include "Preventing Injustices in Environmental Health and Exposures," "Health and the Built Environment: Opportunities for Prevention," and "Creating Healthy Food Environments, Preventing Chronic Disease."

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Upcoming Conferences of Interest…For Steps Grantees and Partners

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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.

One or more documents on this Web page are available in Adobe Acrobat® Format (PDF). You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view PDF files on this page.

Page last reviewed: July 15, 2008
Page last modified: July 16, 2008
Content source: Division of Adult and Community Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

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