The Cuyahoga County Planning Commission, together with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, have been working since 2010 on the Creating Healthy Communities (CHC) grant funded by the CDC and administered by the Ohio Department of Health. CHC uses population and evidence-based strategies to create systems, environmental, and policy changes, aimed at reducing the leading causes of death associated with unhealthy behaviors including poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, and tobacco use within a health equity framework in the target communities of Euclid, East Cleveland, and Lakewood.
Over the past program years, the CCPC has worked with in the CHC program to improve opportunities relating to active living and healthy eating. The CHC team (comprised of CCPC and CCBH staff) has assisted in the establishment of community gardens in targeted communities and in drafting municipal ordinances that are conducive to urban agriculture. In recent years, the CHC team has implemented a Healthy Corner Store Initiative that will increase the quality, quantity, and visibility of fresh produce and other healthy items while limiting the visibility of unhealthy items through store redesign and product placement. In terms of active lifestyle and physical activity, the CHC team has aided in the development of the Safe Routes To School program and community trail networks and is now focusing on developing shared use agreements to increase capacity and availability of physical activity opportunities.
The CHC team will continue to coordinate healthy food retail initiatives and shared use agreements within target communities while providing technical assistance and resources to support implementation of these strategies.