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TOWN OF JAY SEEKS RECOGNITION AS A HEALTHY COMMUNITY CHAMPION

By DOH-Santa Rosa

September 09, 2019

Milton, FL – In 2014, the Florida Department of Health created the Healthy Community Champions Recognition Program to recognize communities for taking a Health in All Policies approach. This comprehensive planning was meant to address, in part, the growing problem of obesity. The Town of Jay recently applied for this designation. An announcement of all qualifying county and municipal governments will be made by the Healthiest Weight Florida Campaign in November 2019.  

“The Santa Rosa County Health Department has encouraged all city and county governments to apply for the 2019 Community Champions Recognition,” said Matt Dobson, Public Health Services Manager for Santa Rosa County.

Florida’s county and municipal governments play an important role in decreasing the prevalence of unhealthy weight in their jurisdictions. Obesity and associated chronic diseases have a considerable economic impact on individuals and communities and some people are more seriously affected by factors such as the availability and accessibility of healthy food and the safety, accessibility and existence of spaces for physical activity.

In addressing this issue, the Florida Department of Health created the Healthy Community Champions Recognition Program. The Department will be recognizing municipal and county level governments statewide for taking a Health in All Policies approach to comprehensive planning and allow them to share their progress and lessons learned. Health in All Policies as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a collaborative approach that integrates and articulates health considerations into policymaking across sectors to improve the health of all communities and people. The Healthy Community Champions Recognition is now a two-year designation with opportunities to receive technical assistance to further the adoption and implementation of health in all policies.

In 2018, the Florida Department of Health recognized 45 communities as Healthy Community Champions, 98 communities recognized in 2017, 80 communities recognized in 2016, 65 communities recognized in 2015, and 38 communities recognized in 2014.

Local governments can implement a variety of policies that have been shown to increase physical activity and improve nutrition. These “best practice” policies are reflected in the Healthy Community Champions criteria. Florida’s municipalities (cities, towns and villages) and counties are eligible. Submissions must be made by a municipal or county official. Unincorporated areas may submit under the sponsorship of the county in which they are located.

While the application deadline has passed for this year. The submission window for 2020 will open sometime in early June 2020. Eligibility includes all Florida’s municipalities (cities, towns and villages) and counties. Submissions must be made by a municipal or county official. Unincorporated areas may submit under the sponsorship of the county in which they are located. Follow the link to download a copy of the Healthy Community Champions Guidance and Resources document: http://www.healthiestweightflorida.com/_documents/2019-hccr-guidance-resources.pdf

Healthiest Weight Florida is a public-private collaboration bringing together state agencies, not for profit organizations, businesses, and entire communities to help Florida’s children and adults make consistent, informed choices about healthy eating and active living.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @HealthyFla. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.