January 26, 2017

APA Delaware Chapter Receives Grant Funding to Advance Healthy Communities

Dover – The American Planning Association Delaware Chapter has received a $45,000 grant through the Planners4Health initiative to build local capacity for integrating planning and public health. The initiative’s goal is to create stronger, healthier communities.

The six-month initiative sponsored by the American Planning Association (APA) will ensure planners and public health professionals have access to information and resources to help their communities more easily support and implement healthy living choices.

The Planners4Health initiative marks the three-year culmination of APA’s $9 million Plan4Health program that works to combat two determinants of chronic disease – lack of physical activity and lack of access to nutritious foods. Funding for the initiative is provided through a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Through the initiative, APA Delaware will use the grant funding to broadly share knowledge and resources on building coalitions with public health professionals and more strongly integrating public health into local and regional planning practices.

“This is a significant opportunity to enhance local planning efforts to create healthier communities and establish a strong legacy of collaboration between planners and public health professionals,” said Anna Ricklin, AICP, manager of APA’s Planning and Community Health Center. “Through APA Delaware’s efforts, even more professionals will have access to best practices and resources to further advance healthy communities.”

Through this grant, the APA Delaware will be:

  • Conducting a statewide analysis of prioritizing areas for equitable access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity;
  • Leveraging existing healthy community initiatives and efforts underway;
  • Sharing planning and public health information; and
  • Bringing together key stakeholders for a roundtable discussion on implementation planning.

This is the second grant the APA Delaware has received through the Plan4Health initiative. The chapter partnered with the Delaware Public Health Association and the Delaware Coalition for Healthy Eating and Active Living (DE HEAL) to change the approach in which comprehensive plans are updated to include considerations for health and equity.  This funding allowed for a local health and equity analysis related to food access and active living in Kent County. In addition, the chapter developed guidance reports for the City of Dover and Kent County to address health and equity in the comprehensive plan updates and identify strategies to improves access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity.

“We are very excited to be awarded this Planners4Health grant and look forward to maintain the momentum institutionalizing health in planning by enhancing and expanding efforts in Kent County through the rest of Delaware,” says Ann Marie Townshend, President of APA Delaware.

Visit www.planning.org/nationalcenters/health/planners4health for information about the overall program.