The Safe Routes Partnership and National Shared Use Task Force are pleased to announce our 2017 Spring Shared Use Ambassadors!
The National Shared Use Task Force created the Shared Use Ambassador program, to acknowledge the innovative and dedicated work of individuals and organizations that are advancing shared use in their communities to improve public health through physical activity opportunities that might not otherwise be available.
Shared use is the concept of opening access to facilities or spaces for access by the community- a wise use of existing resources and facilities to create increased access to physical activity and healthy living opportunities for diverse populations. As an evidence-based and policy, systems, and environment (PSE) change strategy, communities are implementing shared use policies, agreements, and relationships that provide physical activity opportunities in underserved neighborhoods to improve health.
We are pleased to announce our two Individual Ambassadors, and FIRST Organization Ambassador! Save the date for webinars being scheduled to introduce their programs, share best practices and resources, and ask questions of this outstanding shared use innovators!
Save the date! Webinar Thursday, July 20, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. ET
Erika Hood, M.Ed, REACH Community Fellow and Active Living Strategy Coordinator
Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods, Case Western Reserve, Cleveland, Ohio
As the Community Fellow and Active Living Strategy Coordinator for the HIP-Cuyahoga REACH Grant in Cleveland, Erika was tasked with advancing shared use policies in six priority neighborhoods in Cleveland and the city of East Cleveland, an inner city suburb. Through relationship building and consulting with residents, she worked to develop shared use policies at various neighborhood sites, such as churches, community centers, and settlement houses. A new approach to school shared use through site coordinators at select Investment Schools in Cleveland resulted in connecting residents to opportunities where they can be involved in physical activity or lead activities themselves during designated hours. This victory provided physical activity programmers access to the community through their school, where there has been little success before. Her community engagement approach focuses on consulting with her “team of experts” – the residents, and allows her to develop strategies designed by the residents of the community., Her philosophy is to “understand that the residents with a passion to uplift and truly “HEAL” their communities are the missing element at many planning tables, but that is a component that I refuse to forget.”
Ruth Bell, MS, Health Program Analyst
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Los Angeles, California
Shared use practice in Los Angeles County has had many successes, but in a county of 10+ million people, there is plenty room for more. Ruth co-convenes the Los Angeles County joint use task force Joint/Shared Use Moving People to Play (JUMPP). She and Task Force members work to engage district superintendents, health care professionals, the faith community, and non-profit organizations to champion shared use throughout Los Angeles County. She and the JUMPP Steering Committee and Task Force have created multiple resources to amplify shared use as a practice throughout the county, and specifically worked towards system change within the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest in the nation. Ruth worked to understand the systems within the district and bring in key staffers to make shared use a more widely adopted practice with a specific focus on lower-income communities and communities of color.
Save the date! Webinar on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at 1pmEST/10amPT
Ohio’s Creating Healthy Communities Program
Ohio Department of Health, Ashley Davis, Creating Healthy Communities Program Manager
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.