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Posted On: 5/7/2014

Cuyahoga County Kicks Off Inaugural Community Health Challenge



Contacts:
Rich Luchette, (216) 797-0931
Jeane' Holley, (216) 698-2544


CLEVELAND – Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald today announced the start of the first Community Health Challenge to promote health and wellness for the 59 communities across Ohio’s largest county.

“Improving the state of public health is one important way to promote productivity, economic development, educational attainment, quality of life, and neighborhood revitalization at the local level. Cuyahoga County’s first annual Community Health Challenge will allow us to better engage our local government partners in promoting healthy practices,” said FitzGerald. “I am looking forward to the working with institutions and individuals across the county to establish a new culture of health and wellness for our constituents.”

The Community Health Challenge is a countywide competition to drive improvements to health and well-being across Cuyahoga County, which ranked 65th out of Ohio’s 88 counties in the 2014 County Health Rankings. The voluntary program is open for local governments to compete in now through August 30th.

Each of the county’s 59 municipal governments will have the opportunity to answer questions on a Challenge Checklist that will indicate whether they have implemented various policies, guidelines, or activities in their municipal workplace or local community. Results will be posted publicly on the Cuyahoga County website and communities will have the opportunity to improve their scores by working with the county on implementing new health and wellness policies.

At the conclusion of the competition, the community with the highest overall point total will be recognized. Awards will also be presented for communities that lead in the categories of healthy eating, active living, tobacco-free environment, and most improved.

"The Community Health Challenge is a culmination of a partnership launched in April 2012 with the announcement of County Health Alliance. The Challenge’s primary focus areas are healthy eating, active living, and a tobacco-free environment – areas in which positive change can assist in improving individual’s health outcomes and life expectancy and start to build healthier communities across Cuyahoga County," said Jennifer Scofield, Interim Director for Regional Collaboration and Challenge Coordinator.

12 institutional partners have agreed to provide technical assistance, access to resources, educational materials, incentives, or a Community Coach. These include: the Academy of Medicine of Cleveland and Northern Ohio, American Cancer Society, Bike Cleveland, Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Food Policy Coalition, Cuyahoga Community College, Cuyahoga County Board of Health, ease@work, Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, First Suburbs Consortium, MetroHealth System, Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods at CWRU, and University Hospitals.

Communities interested in taking part in the 2014 Community Health Challenge should contact Jennifer Scofield by calling (216) 698-3022 or sending an email to jscofield@cuyahogacounty.us or healthstat@cuyahogacounty.us.