Organization: Ohio Department of Health
Title: Ashley Davis, Creating Healthy Communities Program Manager
Location: Columbus, OH
The Ohio Department of Health, Creating Healthy Communities Program has a long term commitment to shared use policy adoption, implementation, advocacy and education in communities with chronic disease concerns, by "Making the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice." A statewide health initiative since 2010, Creating Healthy Communities (CHC) is a CDC funded program committed to preventing and reducing chronic disease statewide. Currently in 23 counties in Ohio, the CHC program is found in rural, suburban and urban communities and assists with the implementation of sustainable evidence-based strategies. Each CHC program identified communities to focus on based on health outcome data and community need. By focusing on prevention, this program strives to create a healthy, safe environment for all. Through cross-sector collaboration at the state and local levels, they activate communities "to improve access to and affordability of healthy food, increase opportunities for physical activity, and assure tobacco-free living where Ohioans live, work and play." Shared use policy adoption and agreements are one of the pillars of evidence-based change each community in the program is implementing, and although each community is unique and faces different challenges, all are succeeding through the assistance of state level support and resources, and local collaboration and commitment.