ACHIEVE (Action Communities for Health, Innovation, and Environmental Change) is sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Selected national organizations collaborate with CDC to enhance local communities’ abilities to develop and implement policy, systems, and environmental change strategies that will help prevent or manage health-risk factors for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, obesity, and arthritis. Specific activities are directed toward reducing tobacco use and exposure, promoting physical activity and healthy eating, improving access to quality preventive healthcare services, and eliminating health disparities. Five national organizations have been selected to collaborate with CDC’s Healthy Communities Program in conducting ACHIEVE.
In February 2011, the Northwest Georgia Healthcare Partnership was notified by the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) that their application was successful, and Whitfield and Murray Counties, Georgia (Dalton) would be joining 133 other ACHIEVE communities nationally. The community was the first in the State of Georgia to be awarded ACHIEVE status and only one of 10 nationally to funded by the NACDD in 2011.
Map of ACHIEVE Communities Nationwide
ACHIEVE fosters collaborative partnerships between city and county health officials, city and county government, tribal programs, parks and recreation departments, local YMCAs, local health-related coalitions, and other representatives from the school, business, health, and community sectors to implement improvements. State departments of health and other state-level partners provide additional resources and information to help communities meet their goals. Examples of community-based improvements include increased access to and use of attractive and safe locations for engaging in physical activity, revised school food contracts that include more fruits and vegetables and whole grain foods, ordinances that protect children and adults from exposure to secondhand smoke and encourage nonsmoking, and requirements for sidewalks and crossing signals in neighborhoods to make them more pedestrian-friendly.
Visit the ACHIEVE website to learn more (www.achievecommunities.org). If you live in Whitfield or Murray Counties, Georgia, click HERE to see the community’s profile! Photos of the Community Health Action and Response Team (CHART) at the CDC’s “Action Institute” in Baltimore, MD can be viewed HERE.