1 Innovative Collaboratives and Initiatives Santa Clara County

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					Innovative Collaboratives and Initiatives
Santa Clara County Public Health Department,
Chronic Disease & Injury Prevention Division

Connection Between Health, Climate Change and the Built Environment - There is a growing
                           recognition that the built environment – the man-made physical structures and
                           infrastructure of communities - has an impact on our health. Chronic diseases such as
                           diabetes and asthma are leading health concerns that are influenced by environmental
                           conditions. Decisions about zoning, transportation, land use, and community design
                           influence distances people travel to work, the convenience of purchasing healthy foods,
                           and the safety and attractiveness of neighborhoods for walking, among other things.

                            In an effort to improve the health outcomes of those living in Santa Clara County, with a
                            focused effort in San Jose, South County and Mountain View, the Public Health
Department, Chronic Disease & Injury Prevention Division is taking an active role by providing trainings, data, and
technical assistance in relation to incorporating health into general plan updates, Redevelopment Agencies
priorities and updates, and climate change issues. These meetings and trainings are helping to establish a
dialogue between planners, housing developers, redevelopment agencies, elected officials, policy makers, public
health professionals, transportation agencies and community members to help create healthy, sustainable
communities in Santa Clara County.

Community Mapping, Engagement, and Mobilization – Lower income populations are disproportionately
affected by environmental conditions that do not support healthy eating and physical activity. Key community
mapping data has been completed in four neighborhoods (San Jose & Gilroy) and three additional neighborhoods
(San Jose & Mountain View) are in process. These seven neighborhoods
in Santa Clara County, are places were people live, work, play, socialize,
go to school, and shop for food. The Network for a Healthy California’s
Communities of Excellence in Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity
Prevention (CX3) planning framework is being used to assess these
neighborhoods which were prioritized due to the high rates of
overweight/obesity and the high rates of contributing risk factors such
as low intake of fruits and vegetables and lack of physical activity.

Using the CX3 survey tools, the Public Health Department staff role has
been to train promotoras and/or local residents to help in collecting the neighborhood data using field surveys that
include retail, advertising, and walkability indicators. The field study data is added to GIS mapping and other
statistical information that is compiled by the Public Health Department. The result of this data, once analyzed,
helps to create a snapshot of each local neighborhood related to access to good quality fruits and vegetables,
healthy advertising, and safe places to play and recreate. Another complementary accompaniment to this data
makes use of photo voice. Photo voice, a collection of photos and stories, helps to tell a more qualitative story of
these neighborhoods. It is a powerful method of community engagement. Neighborhood specific fact sheets have
been developed by the Public Health Department to share with community members, planners, community-based
organizations, and policy makers to help set local priorities to improve access to healthy foods and/or improve
places to engage in physical activity in an effort to create healthier and safer neighborhoods.

Restaurant Menu Labeling Initiative – The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors passed a Restaurant
Menu Labeling Ordinance that would require chain restaurants to provide consumers in the County with basic
information such as nutrient and caloric information for menu items so that consumers would be able to make
informed decisions. By listing calories on menus with easy to read nutritional information, patrons could make more
informed choices when eating out. Passage of the local ordinance in Santa Clara County contributed to the
passage of the statewide Menu Labeling legislation (SB 1420) and the Governor signing into law on 9/30/08.
California was the first in the nation with statewide standard for menu labeling!

May 2009                                                  1
The Public Health Department, Chronic Disease & Injury Prevention staff provided data and technical assistance to
local policy makers on the development of the local ordinance. The new state law supports the research, according
to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), away-from home foods account for more than one-third of
adults’ and children’s caloric intakes, and the high calorie content and large portion sizes of some restaurant foods
are key contributors to the skyrocketing rates of overweight and obesity in children and adults. The new law
supports consumers in helping them to make more informed decisions when eating out.

Healthy Trails – Your Path to Fitness, Fun, and Adventure - The Santa Clara County Parks & Recreation
Department, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department, Chronic Disease & Injury Prevention Division, and
                             Kaiser Permanente, San Jose are founding partners and jointly developed Healthy
                             Trails. The purpose of Healthy Trails: (1.) Encourage individuals and families to
                             access underutilized County Parks’ trails and (2.) Improve residents’ fitness levels
                             and increase their healthy behaviors. The Healthy Trails Challenge was launched in
                             October 2007 with a proclamation made by the Santa Clara County Board of

                                 Healthy Trails, a 12-month fitness challenge, is designed to encourage people of all
ages to bike, ride, run or walk their way to fitness on at least five of the 21-featured Santa Clara County Parks trails
during a one-year period. To maximize participation, materials were created in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.
Information in the Healthy Trails Guide supports multiple levels of fitness and different modes of movement.
Coordination and promotion through the partners’ organizational systems has leveraged reach and has helped to
ensure the promotion and ongoing integration of Healthy Trails within a variety of settings including worksites,
healthcare, schools, and in community-based organizations. During the first year, more than 7,000 people

Be Sugar Savvy . . . Rethink Your Drink Initiative – In an effort to
educate consumers on how much sugar and empty calories are in the foods
consumed each day, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department has
taken the lead on the Bay Area regional Rethink Your Drink / Soda Free
Summer campaign. The Board of Supervisors in all six counties did Sugar
Savvy . . . Rethink Your Drink proclamations. Santa Clara County took it one
step further and directed the Public Health Department to help implement a
Sugar Savvy Initiative within the County system.

The regional campaign has two components. The Be Sugar Savvy curriculum
is a fun, hands-on class designed to show how much added sweeteners are
hidden in foods. Last year staff conducted 23 Be Sugar Savvy trainings with
44 local organizations and trained them to spread the campaign message,
along with distributing campaign materials at health fairs and other community
events. As a result, staff from clinics and hospitals, schools, park and
recreation departments, YMCA, WIC, boys and girls clubs, parenting groups,
and summer camp programs provided presentations and integrated the content of the Be Sugar Savvy workshop
into their respective organizations. Over 100,000 individuals participated in the campaign and when the media
components are included, the overall reported reach was 2 million Bay Area residents.

                         The second part of the regional efforts include the Rethink Your Drink / Soda Free Summer
                         campaign encourages Bay Area families to “rethink their drink” and reduce or eliminate
                         drinking sweetened beverages, which are associate with obesity and type 2 diabetes. The
                         centerpiece of the campaign was an effort to get residents to pledge to be “soda free” for
                         10 weeks during the summer and to reinforce their decision by keeping a log documenting
                         each day that they did not drink soda. Participants were encourage to take the pledge by
                         signing an actual pledge card which, when returned, entered them in a raffle with various
                         health-related prizes. Five thousand residents returned the Soda Free Summer pledge
                         card promising to reduce their soda consumption. Based on a follow-up survey, two-thirds
                         of respondents reported making a behavior change toward better health.

May 2009                                                   2
Childhood Feeding Collaborative - This prevention-focused
project addresses the problem of obesity among young children (ages
6 months – 5 years), by working to reach parents before the pattern of
poor feeding and eating practices become entrenched and children
become overweight. This project supports the collaboration of multiple
partners that provide services to children and families. The project focuses on a systems approach, with consistent
messaging designed to change practices around early childhood feeding guidance, as well as implementing
organizational change within healthcare and childcare settings to support this new systematic approach. Efforts
include in-depth training for healthcare professionals (experts) and childcare providers (champions); grand-rounds,
in-service trainings, and technical assistance to pediatricians and healthcare professionals; mentoring for trained
childcare professionals; development and implementation of “5 Keys to Raising Healthy and Happy Eaters”
parenting class; establishment of a referral system across health plans to the “5 Keys to Raising Healthy and
Happy Eaters” parenting classes offered throughout the county; research and evaluation of this innovative,
community-based application of the Division of Responsibility to feeding dynamics across healthcare and childcare

                                Traffic Safe Communities Network (TCSN) - A community collaborative guided by
                            the Santa Clara County Public Health Department. TSCN represents law enforcement,
                            engineering, public health, injury prevention, elected officials, education, judicial systems,
                            emergency medical services, bicycle and pedestrian safety advocacy groups, and other
traffic safety stakeholders. The combined efforts of the TSCN’s members have generated innovative projects that
have contributed to the countywide reduction in motor vehicle crashes and improvement in bicycle and pedestrian

Safe Routes to School, a part of TCSN is a local and nationwide program designed to encourage walking and
biking to school through educational, fun activities and support from traffic engineers, police officers, and the school
community. Activities include: Walkability / Bikeability Assessments; Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Education
Classes or Assemblies; Bicycle Safety Rodeos; Parent Traffic Safety Education; and the annual Walk & Bike to
School Week.

Senior Driver Safety Program is the most recent addition to TCSN effort. Maintaining the ability to drive is critical
to many senior drivers as it allows them to stay connected to family and friends, to get to healthcare services, and it
helps them to maintain a feeling of independence. The Senior Driver Safety helps to maintain their independence.
This new program combines self-assessments of driving abilities, classroom education, CarFit events, and
resources for alternative transportation options.

Smoke Free Health Care Facility Policy - The Santa Clara County BOS
adopted a resolution to create a Smoke Free Health Care Facility Policy on 4/7/09.
This policy: (1.) prohibits smoking on the entire Santa Clara Valley Medical Center
campus and all associated health facilities and clinics where patient care is
provided; (2.) increases the no smoking perimeter from 25 to 30 feet surrounding
County owned non-health facility buildings and leased buildings where the County
is the sole occupant; (3.) creates obligation for staff to work with the landlords of leased buildings where the County
is one of several occupants, to encourage a no smoking zone within 30 feet surrounding those leased buildings;
(4.) reinforces the County prohibition on smoking in all County vehicles; (5.) requires posting of "No Smoking” signs
that give notice of the County policy in locations deemed appropriately visible by County employees and visitors;
(6.) requires the inclusion of a summary of the County's No Smoking Policy in all County leases and contracts, and
requires contractors and leases to abide by the policy while performing County work on County property; and (7.)
requires smoking cessation resources to be placed alongside "No Smoking” signs, where feasible, to provide
support to those who would like to stop smoking.
Contact Information:         Chronic Disease & Injury Prevention Division
                             Main Line: (408) 793-2700
                             Santa Clara County Public Health Department Website: http://www.sccgov.org/portal/site/phd/

Funders for these initiatives include: CDC Healthy Communities Program (formerly CDC Steps Program); California Department of Public Health,
Network for a Healthy California, Project LEAN, and Tobacco Control Program; California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration and Caltrans; The Health Trust through Valley Medical Center Foundation.
May 2009                                                             3

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