BOX 6-4

Examples of Community Initiatives and Coalitions

  • Health and Wellness Coalition of Wichita: Partners in this community coalition in Wichita, Kansas include nonprofit organizations, local businesses, city and county agencies, and local academic institutions.

  • Fit City Madison: The mayor of Madison, Wisconsin, began this initiative in response to concern about city-wide obesity rates. Fit City is now a coalition effort involving more than 50 community organizations that schedule health-related and active living events, including regular walks with the mayor.

  • ACT!vate Omaha: This program is a partnership in Omaha, Nebraska, of local health and city governments officials, health educators, health care providers, workplace wellness organizations, architects, and community groups aimed at fostering active living.

  • Bexar County (Texas) Community Health Collaborative: This community coalition began with a community health needs assessment sponsored as a joint effort by San Antonio area health care organizations. It has since expanded to include numerous other partners, including the YMCA of Greater San Antonio, and has launched Fit City and Walk San Antonio initiatives.

  • Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC): The consortium began as a community-based effort of Children’s Memorial Hospital focused on obesity prevention in children ages 3 to 5 years. CLOCC now involves multiple community partners and provides resources and connections for children, their caregivers, and those who work with their parents and caregivers.

SOURCES: ACT!vate Omaha (2006); CLOCC (2006); Fit City Madison (2006); Health and Wellness Coalition of Wichita (2005); Health Collaborative (2006).

tive foods in schools (Chapter 7). Even if the group disbands after a project is completed, progress has been made and awareness has increased among all of the stakeholders involved. Although the progress that results from a collaboration is difficult to measure, collaborations have important benefits such as empowering community residents and local organizations and increasing the community’s capacity to address a problem (Kreuter et al., 2000).

Enhancing the Built Environment

The built environment represents the human-made elements of the physical environment (e.g., the buildings, the infrastructure, and arrangements in space and the aesthetic qualities of these elements). Over the past 50 years, the physical environment has changed dramatically, and it is increasingly recognized as a factor contributing to the obesity epidemic

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