Building Healthy Communities

It is an important duty of Public Health to promote healthy behaviors that reduce chronic disease and premature mortality and morbidity. When populations increase physical activity, improve dietary patterns and reduce tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke, they improve health status, life expectancy and quality of life while reducing rates of heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and other debilitating conditions.

The Western UP Health Department is providing leadership to a broad coalition of educators, health pofessionals, local govermental officials, regional planners, master gardeners, and volunteer groups who are united in their efforts to make the Western UP a healthier place to live.

Building Healthy Communities is a new local, State and national initiative to make policy and built-environment changes that promote community health by increasing access to physical activity and healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, especially for underserved populations. Building Healthy Communities projects include non-motorized trail building to encourage year-round exercise, recreation and bike commuting; Complete Streets planning that makes cities safer and more invitingĀ for walkers and bikers; and farmers markets and community gardens that make fresh fruits and vegetables locally available and affordable.

For more information on Building Healthy Communites, or to get involved in local projects, contact Ray Sharp at 906-482-7382.