Friday, October 18, 2013

Durham Among First Government Municipalities in NC to Join "A Healthier NC" Campaign

Durham is getting quite bullish on health and fitness – and 28,000 residents completing 420,000 hours of activity, and losing 280,000 pounds are wanted to lead the charge to beat this challenge.

Elected officials will join Durham’s health advocates on Monday, October 14, during a 10:00 a.m. ceremony at the Durham County Human Service Building to launch “A Healthier Durham.”

The City of Durham and Durham County have partnered to become the first government entity in N.C. to join the parent “A Healthier NC” campaign, which launched in April of this year.

Obesity and chronic illness is no small problem in Durham County. According to Durham County’s 2012 State of the County Health Report, 59% of adults and near one-third of high school students are considered overweight or obese.

“A Healthier Durham” will play a significant role in helping to address these health disparities, which align with key objectives in strategic plan health goals for both the City of Durham and Durham County.

“Durham is honored to be the first city-county government partnership in N.C. to rise to the challenge,” said Public Health Director Gayle B. Harris. “Recently, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) selected Durham as one of 12 finalists for the RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize, which honors communities that are transforming health by bringing together a broad range of partners to improve health outcomes for residents. This is yet another example of just how committed Durham is to the health and well-being of its residents.”

The “A Healthier Durham” campaign and challenge provides free health journaling tools, access to a variety of Durham-specific health resources and educational materials, and will allow users to submit information about fitness opportunities in proximity to a user’s address at

In addition to providing access to health resources, the “A Healthier Durham” website is designed to facilitate group participation locally and in the “A Healthier NC” challenge

“A Healthier Durham” is part of the larger “A Healthier NC” campaign, led by NC SPIN and supported by the following sponsors: N.C. Academy of Family Physicians, N.C. Medical Society, N.C. DHHS Office of Rural Health and Community Care, the AARP Decide.Create.Share campaign, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of N.C.

Tom Campbell, creator and producer of NC SPIN, and sponsor of “A Healthier NC”, said, “A Healthier NC is about more than just weight loss—it’s about transforming lives. It's an appeal and call to action for all of us to be active participants in our own health. It's encouraging one another to make smarter choices about what we eat, how active we are, and how important it is to take care of ourselves, and the ones we love. We're thrilled that Durham leaders are using the A Healthier NC platform to encourage citizens to strive for improved health.”

The idea for the “A Healthier NC” initiative arose out of concern for the state’s low rankings in reports that measure health on the national and state level. In 2012, North Carolina was ranked thirty-third for health by the United Health Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings®. The Be Active North Carolina 2012 Report “Tipping the Scales” also highlights the extent and cost of poor health choices by North Carolinians.

The campaign was also inspired by a 1940s era campaign called the “Good Health Plan”, which was initiated by N.C. Governor Mel Broughton to improve health services in the state.

Learn more about Durham online.

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