According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), three risk behaviors ó lack of physical activity, poor nutrition, and tobacco use ó are responsible for much of the early death related to chronic disease in the United States. Effectively addressing these three behaviors through policy, systems, and environmental change to make healthy choices the easier choices can have a significant impact on preventing negative health consequences, such as heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
In March 2010, SANDAG and the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) partnered on projects related to regional planning, active transportation, and Safe Routes to School to increase levels of physical activity and access to healthy food and nutrition. These projects, which made up Phase I of the Healthy Works program at SANDAG, were supported by a $3 million contract with HHSA that was funded through the CDCís Communities Putting Prevention to Work program. View additional information on Healthy Works Phase I.
In September 2011, HHSA received another CDC grant , the Community Transformation Grant (CTG), and chose to partner with SANDAG again to build on the successes of the Healthy Works Phase I projects. SANDAG and HHSA initiated the Healthy Works Phase II projects in July 2012. The projects are described below.
Regional Safe Routes to School Strategic Plan Implementation
A key outcome of Healthy Works Phase I was the adoption of a Regional Safe Routes to School Strategic Plan (SRTS Plan) to make walking and bicycling to school safer and more attractive travel choices for families throughout the region. During Healthy Works Phase II, SANDAG, in collaboration with local jurisdictions, school districts, and other key stakeholders, will begin implementing the SRTS Plan through the following activities:
Conduct a needs analysis and prioritize the recommendations identified in SRTS Plan
Develop a phasing and funding strategy to implement the plan†
Identify three high-priority actions from the SRTS Plan to be implemented in areas with the greatest need for SRTS efforts
Another objective of Phase II is to continue to convene and strengthen the Regional Safe Routes to School Coalition. During Phase I, local agencies and organizations partnered to form the coalition to serve as a forum for exchanging information and promoting collaboration.
Public Health and Wellness Policies for Regional Plans
In Healthy Works Phase I, SANDAG collaborated with the Public Health Stakeholder Group and HHSA to develop a draft Public Health and Wellness Policy Framework and Performance Metrics for future consideration in regional transportation and land use plan updates.
During Healthy Works Phase II, SANDAG will work with various stakeholders to refine the draft framework to include goals, policies, and performance measures for consideration in the current regional plan update process. In addition, SANDAG will work with local agencies to develop guidelines to integrate public health principles into local and regional projects and programs.†
Regional Monitoring and Evaluation for Physical Activity and Public Health
SANDAG is in the process of establishing a monitoring and evaluation program to assist in quantifying outcomes of active transportation projects and programs. As part of Healthy Works Phase II, SANDAG will partner with HHSA to develop recommendations for the regional monitoring and evaluation program to incorporate physical activity and public health indicators. In addition, staff will establish guidelines for the Smart Growth Incentive Program to collect baseline active transportation data.
For additional information on the SANDAG monitoring and evaluation program, please contact Christine Eary at email@example.com.
Regional Complete Streets Policy and Implementation
The regional Complete Streets Policy Implementation project aims to build capacity in the region to comply with the Complete Streets Act of 2008 and support policies that balance all modes of travel on public rights of way. Specifically, SANDAG will:
Establish a technical assistance program to support local agencies in developing or implementing Complete Streets policies
Develop a Regional Complete Streets Policy
Support the update of the Traffic Impact Study guidelines for the San Diego region†
Health Benefits and Impacts Analysis Program
In Healthy Works Phase I, SANDAG contracted with Human Impact Partners and Safe and Healthy Communities Consulting to conduct the regionís first Health Benefits and Impacts Analysis on a SANDAG regional transit project. Healthy Works Phase II aims to:
Build capacity throughout the region to conduct health assessments on proposed projects, policies, and plans at the regional and local levels
Facilitate a technical assistance program in collaboration with a consultant team to support local agencies in implementing health assessments
Develop protocols for future institutionalization of a health assessment tool used to analyze health and social equity benefits and impacts of proposed regional transportation plans projects
Public Health Stakeholder Group
In Healthy Works Phase I, SANDAG convened the Public Health Stakeholder Group (PHSG) to advise SANDAG and provide input and recommendations on Healthy Works-related projects. SANDAG is reconvening the PHSG throughout the duration of Healthy Works Phase II to further assist in the successful implementation of† projects. PHSG meetings are open to the public and occur on a quarterly basis on the third Thursday of the month.