Carbondale joins HEAL
The Town of Carbondale Board of Trustees passed a resolution on June 23 to join the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign of Colorado, which champions local government policies that improve access to healthy foods and physical activity in both small and large communities throughout the state.
HEAL — healthy eating and active living — policies are critical components to a healthy lifestyle and are the focus of the nonprofit LiveWell Colorado in its statewide efforts to prevent and reduce obesity. Currently, 58 percent of adults and nearly a quarter of children in Colorado are overweight or obese. According to a recent study, Colorado spent $1.637 billion treating diseases and conditions related to obesity.
LiveWell Colorado joined forces with the Colorado Municipal League to create the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign and support local elected officials in championing both a city’s physical and fiscal health. The campaign supports Governor John Hickenlooper’s initiative to make Colorado the healthiest state in America.
“We recognized this as a unique opportunity to incorporate healthy eating and active living policies into our local projects and long-term planning process,” said Carbondale Mayor Stacey Bernot. “We are excited to become a HEAL designated Town and maximize free resources that can benefit our citizens and the wellbeing of our entire community.”
As part of the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign, LiveWell Colorado will provide free training, support and technical policy assistance to municipal leaders. This may include analyzing current policies that impact healthy living for citizens, suggesting ways to update such policies to increase access to HEAL and updating administrative procedures to help make the healthy choice the easy choice for municipal employees.
Carbondale’s partnership with the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign aligns with Town Trustees objectives that have included their support for the 17-week-long summer downtown farmer’s market, their prior funding assistance in building the Demeter Community Garden behind the Third Street Center and their support for developing a wellness map on the town’s website that includes names and contact information for a majority of local health and wellness practitioners.
“At LiveWell Colorado, we know that creating policies that address healthy living at a local level is critical to addressing the personal, collective and economic impact of obesity in our state,” said Julie George, director of the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign of Colorado. “We’re confident we can make great headway by partnering with Town of Carbondale officials to benefit the lives of Carbondale’s residents and employees.”
Participation in the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign is free, thanks to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease and Pulmonary Disease Grant Program and the support of Kaiser Permanente. Colorado’s initiative is modeled after the HEAL Cities Campaign created in California and is part of the HEAL Nation network. An eight-person advisory committee in partnership with the Colorado Municipal League provides insight on local needs and champions the role municipalities can play in creating healthier communities in Colorado.
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