Envisioning a healthier Central Florida where people are active, eating healthier foods and connected to each other and their community, Florida Hospital (FH) and the Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF) have partnered to create and support a new community-based initiative called Healthy Central Florida (HCF).
Focused initially on Winter Park, Maitland and Eatonville, the initiative will have a public launch on February 6.
HCF plans to accomplish its lofty goal of transforming the community by implementing strategies proven successful in other communities, including using the ACHIEVE model developed by the CDC (the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention).
As a first step, HCF convened community leadership teams representing various sectors including business, faith, education, healthcare and government in Eatonville and Maitland. Each of the community’s mayors is also engaged and helping lead the effort. A Winter Park team has been in place for more than a year and already has had multiple successes.
The primary focus for the teams will be policy and environmental change. Research shows that behavior is impacted by environments – workplace cultures, family dynamics, school settings and community-level conditions. The more we can do to promote health and make the healthy choice the easy choice in every setting, the healthier and happier our residents and the entire community will be.
Community Leaders from Winter Park, Maitland and Eatonville gathered November 16 and 17 for training so they can begin their work which is underway.
During the public launch all residents will be encouraged to join the movement.
Healthy Central Florida’s vision for the community includes:
- Safe routes for children to walk and ride bikes to school
- Safe streets for cyclists and pedestrians with clearly marked crosswalks
- Sidewalks along most streets where residents can walk for exercise, walk to the store, or walk to a bus stop and feel safe
- Fresh fruits and vegetables and other healthy foods served frequently at school, work, home, and public gatherings
- Healthy menu alternatives offered at area restaurants
- Public spaces free of cigarette smoke
- No smoke ever around children who are the most susceptible to second-hand smoke
- A connected, health-conscious, friendly community where healthy living is the norm and the healthy choice is the easy choice
For more information about HCF and its community teams, partners and activities, go to http://healthycentralflorida.org/