At the end of 2016, we announced that Spartanburg County was selected to participate in the HealthyCommunity50, a two-year challenge sponsored by the American Public Health Association, Association of Counties, and the Aetna Foundation. Spartanburg’s goal is to become more physically active, and we have been working toward this end through two initiatives: the Healthy Schools Initiative and Healthy Communities Initiative. A little past the mid-way point of year one, we are excited to share updates on the Healthy Communities Initiative (stay tuned for updates on the schools work!).
We held Walk with Your Elected Official events in January and March, with over 110 people participating each time. Our next walk is scheduled for Saturday, August 12 at 10 a.m. in six locations, hosted by elected officials from each community. This is a great way for local residents to engage with their elected officials while also getting in steps for the day.
You may have noticed more people walking downtown during work breaks. The City of Greer, City of Spartanburg, and Spartanburg County created 14 different teams made up of 153 people, which have been competing for most steps taken each month. A winning team is recognized each month with a rotating trophy. Several elected officials have also joined the challenge (pictured)!
In collaboration with the SC Hospital Association’s Working Well Program, The City of Greer, City of Spartanburg, City of Woodruff, and Spartanburg County are all assessing the health of their workplaces and developing strategies to take actions to improve the workplace around three pillars: affordable, healthy food environments; access and opportunity for physical activity during the workday; and tobacco-free people and places. In June the City of Spartanburg achieved Platinum status for meeting best practice standards in Risk Assessment & Outreach. The City of Greer also achieved Platinum status in Risk Assessment & Outreach, Tobacco Free, Emotional & Mental Wellbeing, and Incentives & Communication.
Last month, all 50 participating communities were invited to attend a convening in Columbus, OH. County Councilman Justin Bradley has been actively involved in Spartanburg’s HealthyCommunity50 and participated in the meeting, “As an elected official, it was a great chance to see the many programs ordinary citizens are putting together throughout the country to encourage healthy choices. The most important point that I learned is that health outcomes can drive other critical issues in our communities, but often ignored is that those same issues – poverty, education, economic opportunity, geography, access to healthcare – can also play extraordinarily important factors in the health of individuals and neighborhoods. The responsibility to tackle these issues is vital to the well-being of our county in the future.”
We are grateful for the leadership in our community that engages, supports, participates, and leads in these efforts that are vital to our wellbeing. We hope to see you on Saturday, August 12!