Wednesday, November 14 , 2018, 8:34 pm | Fair 52º

 
 
 
 

Lompoc YMCA Selected for National Health Initiative

It is among 138 communities participating in a nationwide effort to foster policy and environmental changes

YMCA of the USA, the national resource office for the nation’s 2,686 YMCAs, has announced that the Lompoc Family YMCA has been selected to join Activate America®: Pioneering Healthier Communities — its signature initiative that brings community leaders together to create environments that help sustain healthy behaviors through environmental and policy change.

PHC is funded through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Since its inception in 2004, PHC has tasked a new group of communities with transforming their hometowns into model healthy communities each year. Communities involved in PHC have had success in influencing systemic changes that affect community walkability and pedestrian safety; access to fresh fruits and vegetables; worksite wellness; and physical education requirements in schools.

Lompoc was one of 21 communities named this year, and becomes one of 138 communities nationwide to participate in Y-USA’s Healthier Communities Initiatives. The Healthier Communities Initiatives engage community leaders, convened by local YMCAs, in policy and environmental change efforts that support and promote healthy lifestyles. The initiatives empower local communities with strategies and models to create and sustain positive, lasting change for healthy living.

Through this project, YMCAs are serving as “connectors,” bringing together high-level representatives from the government, nonprofit and private sectors to drive change in each of their communities. The Lompoc Family YMCA applied for this program and was selected after a competitive review process.

“Pioneering Healthy Communities will help our YMCA better meet our mission of providing programs that develop and enrich the spirit, mind and body for everyone in our community. The YMCA’s mission is not contained within the walls of our facility, we are an organization whose purpose is to benefit the overall health of our community,” said Jody Taylor, executive director of the Lompoc Family YMCA. “By stepping outside of our walls, YMCAs have also been able to change the way local leaders think about how their communities impact healthy lifestyles.”

“We are very excited about Lompoc being selected to join the Pioneering Healthy Communities initiative,” said Judy Taggart, project director of the Lompoc Valley Community Health Improvement Coalition. “This project couldn’t have come at a better time.  Our coalition is currently assessing environmental and policy issues in Lompoc that impact community health and the PHC initiative fully supports this work. We are energized by this development.”

In addition to Lompoc, other YMCAs convening local leaders this year to respond to public health challenges include Long Beach.; Ontario, Calif.; Moultrie, Ga.; Honolulu, Hawaii; Evansville, Ind.; Noble County, Ind.; Greater Cadillac Area, Mich.; Kalamazoo, Mich.; Albert Lea, Minn.; Duluth, Minn.; Fulton, Mo.; St. Joseph, Mo.; Flemington, N.J.; Burlington County, N.J.; Guildford County, N.C.; Defiance, Ohio; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Grants Pass, Ore.; Philadelphia, Pa.; and Windham County, Vt.

— Susan Sawyer is the communications and marketing director for the Channel Islands YMCA.

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