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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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Map of Jefferson County, New York
Funding Period:

PDF version of text
(PDF- 105KB)

The Steps Program in Jefferson County,
New York

CDC’s Steps Program funds states, cities, and tribal groups to implement community-based chronic disease prevention programs to reduce the burden of obesity, diabetes, and asthma by addressing three related risk factors: physical inactivity, poor nutrition, and tobacco use. Steps-funded programs are showing what can be done locally in schools, work sites, communities, and health care settings to promote healthier lifestyles and help people make long-lasting and sustainable changes that can reduce their risk for chronic diseases.


Jefferson County is a largely rural area located approximately 60 miles north of Syracuse, New York. The county is part of New York’s "North Country" and shares the distinction of being part of the famed “Thousand Islands Region,” an international recreation and tourism destination. The County's population is 119,738; major population centers include the City of Watertown and a large U.S. Army base, Fort Drum. Jefferson County has a median household income of $39,006, with about 13% of residents living below the federal poverty level (2005 U.S. Census Bureau estimates). The Steps Program provides interventions throughout the community in schools, day-care centers, municipalities, work sites, and health care settings, with particular focus on the mentally or physically disabled and low-income individuals and families.

Spotlight on Success

The Steps Program helped implement a wellness program for school staff members in one of the county’s rural school districts. This program contributed to decreases in expenditures by the district’s self-funded health care plan and resulted in a reduction in employees’ health care insurance premiums. Read Jefferson County’s success story in The Steps Program in Action, available at (PDF- 88KB).

Community Partnerships

The Jefferson County Steps Consortium includes representatives from businesses, municipalities, agencies, and nongovernmental organizations, as well as local community residents. The group is highly effective at collaborating on a wide range of projects and guiding Steps activities in this rural area. Among the partners are the Tug Hill Commission; Villages of Theresa, Black River, Adams, West Carthage, Philadelphia, and Clayton; the City of Watertown; the Velocity Family Fun Center; the North Country Children’s Clinic; Cornell University Cooperative Extension; all three local hospitals; the Watertown Family YMCA; Feed the Soul Nutrition; 11 school districts; Hannaford Supermarket; local health care providers; Watertown Urban Mission; the CNY Asthma Coalition; T-PACC; Miracles by the Acre; and many work sites and businesses, including local farmers.


Steps to a HealthierNY–Jefferson County
Jefferson County Public Health Service
Telephone 315-786-3770*

*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: February 6, 2009
Page last modified: August 5, 2008
Content source: Division of Adult and Community Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

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