The town of Jay has applied for the Healthy Community Champions Recognition Program, which recognizes communities for taking a Health in All Policies approach. This comprehensive planning by the the Florida Department of Health was meant to address, in part, the growing problem of obesity.

The Healthiest Weight Florida Campaign will announce all qualifying county and municipal governments in November.

The program started in 2014. Last year, 45 communities achieved HCC recognition. There were 98 in 2017, 80 in 2016, 65 in 2015 and 38 in 2014.

“The Santa Rosa County Health Department has encouraged all city and county governments to apply for the 2019 Community Champions Recognition,” said Matt Dobson, SRC Public Health Services manager. 

Florida’s county and municipal governments play an important role in decreasing the prevalence of unhealthy weight in their jurisdictions. Obesity and associated chronic diseases have a considerable economic impact on individuals and communities. Some people are more seriously affected by factors such as the availability and accessibility of healthy food and the safety, accessibility and existence of spaces for physical activity.

In addressing this issue, the Florida Department of Health created the Healthy Community Champions Recognition Program. The department will be recognizing municipal and county level governments statewide for taking a Health in All Policies approach to comprehensive planning and allow them to share their progress and lessons learned.

Local governments can implement a variety of policies that have been shown to increase physical activity and improve nutrition. These “best practice” policies are reflected in the Healthy Community Champions criteria.

Florida’s municipalities (cities, towns and villages) and counties are eligible.

While the application deadline has passed for this year, the 2020 submission window opens in early June 2020.

Submissions must be made by a municipal or county official. Unincorporated areas may submit under the sponsorship of the county in which they are located. Visit www.healthiestweightflorida.com/_documents/2019-hccr-guidance-resources.pdf for details.