The Health Equity Alliance of Tallahassee (HEAT) will hold its next meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 20, at 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. in Conference Room A at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. Dinner will be available for $5. Here are the highlights from the proposed agenda:
- We will get a report from the Unnatural Causes Workgroup about planning for events related to the local re-broadcast of Unnatural Causes in January.
- We will discuss next steps in our research and policy advocacy for reducing childhood obesity through changes in the food environment.
- We will continue discussions to assemble a Steering Committee for HEAT-BP, our community-based participatory research project on stress, racism, and high blood pressure among African Americans in Tallahassee.
There is flexibility in the agenda at this point, so please contact Lance Gravlee if you would like to suggest an item for the agenda.
We hope to see you there!
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently announced a new funding opportunity to support the development of community-academic partnerships for health research. The goal of the program is to “support the development, expansion, or reconfiguration of infrastructures needed to facilitate collaboration between academic health centers and community-based organizations for health science research.” As part of this infrastructure, NIH has established the role of Community Research Associate (CRA), “who will be a community representative and serve as a primary liaison facilitating communication and collaboration between the academic health center and the local community. Applicants must identify at least one CRA.”
For more details, see the full announcement for Building Sustainable Community-Linked Infrastructure to Enable Health Science Research (RC4), RFA-OD-09-010. Letters of intent are due on November 12, with full applications due on December 11.
Reducing childhood obesity is a recognized public health priority in the U.S. as a whole and in Leon County in particular. Many HEAT partners are involved in work to address this problem, and we will soon learn whether our application to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will result in new funding for policy advocacy to improve the local food environment.
A recent report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) will be useful in our efforts. The report outlines actions that local governments can take to curb childhood obesity. As the IOM explains:
The committee sought action steps that are within the jurisdiction of local governments; likely to directly affect children; based on the experience of local governments or sources that work with local governments; take place outside of the school day; and have the potential to promote healthy eating and adequate physical activity.
Visit the IOM website to download the full report.
The Health Equity Alliance of Tallahassee (HEAT) will hold its next meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 22, at 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. in Conference Room A at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. Here are the highlights from the proposed agenda:
- Hopefully we will be able to report good news from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation about our application to the Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities program for work on policy change to promote access to healthy foods in Leon County. Fingers crossed!
- We will get an update on community events we will help to organize during the re-broadcast of Unnatural Causes (http://unnaturalcauses.org/) on WFSU in January.
- We will discuss our project on stress, racism, and blood pressure. I will present preliminary results on experiences of racism among African Americans in Tallahassee, and we will discuss the ethical and political implications of collecting genetic data in the later community survey.
Please join us and add your voice to the conversation. Please contact us if you would like to reserve a dinner ($5) or if you have other items you’d like to add to the agenda.
We have postponed the planned August 25 HEAT meeting to avoid a conflict with the Town Hall Meeting on Health Care Reform. The next HEAT meeting is now scheduled for Tuesday, September 1, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, Conference Room A (enter through cafeteria). We will get on update on recent activities and discuss plans to develop a Food Policy Council to address childhood obesity and the food environment. Dinner will be available from TMH catering for $5. Please contact Lance Gravlee to reserve a dinner or to suggest agenda items.
On August 25 at 6:00 p.m., there will be a town hall meeting on health care reform in the Tallahassee City Commission Chamber. The panel will include Congressman Allen Boyd, Dr. Raymond Bellamy, and Dr. Joseph Webster. Mary Ann Lindley from the Tallahassee Democrat will moderate the discussion. We have postponed our August HEAT meeting, which was originally scheduled for the same time, to avoid a conflict with this important event.
The public is invited — and many are sure to turn out — so plan to get there early to add your voice to the discussion.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has published an invaluable resource to help state and local policymakers make their communities healthier. The Action Strategies Toolkit from RWJF’s Leadership for Healthy Communities initiative describes a range of evidence-based strategies to promote health and curb childhood obesity. The strategies involve policy changes in several areas related to active living and the food environment, including land-use policies to encourage physical activity and incentives to attract supermarkets and farmers’ markets to neighborhoods with limited access to healthy food choices.
In a recent podcast from Partnership for Prevention, Dr. David Williams, Professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, discusses the work of the Commission to Build a Healthier America. Williams discusses what makes Americans healthy and what we can do to improve public health in the United States. He identifies two take home messages from the Commission that are relevant to our work with HEAT. First, all Americans could be healthier than they are. This is important because it reminds us that health equity matters for everyone, not just people in disadvantaged groups. Second, as Williams puts it, “Good health is not created in doctors’ offices and hospitals.” Williams describes our health care system as a repair shop; we need to focus on what causes people to get sick in the first place. It follows that we need to broaden the current debate about health care reform to include a focus on how the social environment shapes health and drives up health care costs.
Tune in to Prevention Matters for the full podcast.
The next HEAT meeting will take place on Tuesday, August 25, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, Conference Room A (enter through cafeteria). We will get on update on recent activities and discuss plans to develop a Food Policy Council to address childhood obesity and the food environment. Dinner will be available from TMH catering for $5. Please contact Lance Gravlee to reserve a dinner or to suggest agenda items.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, (NHLBI), a branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has issued a request for information about studying community programs to reduce childhood obesity. According to the request, NHLBI plans to conduct “an evaluation study of communities that will examine outcomes associated with community programs to reduce childhood obesity through policy, environmental, behavioral, and educational activities addressing energy balance. The goal is to examine effects of childhood obesity programs by using a natural experiment al design. Results will be disseminated to inform national and local policy for reducing the prevalence of childhood obesity.”
The information NHLBI is requesting includes how “community” should be defined in this type of evaluation research, what data collection tools exist to measure the impact of childhood obesity programs, and the types of study designs that should be considered. NHLBI would also like to know about specific community programs and the approaches they use to address childhood obesity.
Responses are due by April 10. See the full request for information for complete details.