When the place where we live makes it easy for everyone to exercise and eat well, fewer people will suffer from injury, cancer, diabetes, stroke, heart and lung disease. Our goal is to help shape our communities to support health and well-being. To do this we:
- promote safe, pleasant and accessible places for all people to walk, roll or bicycle
- promote use of public transit
- ensure access to healthy and affordable food
- ensure safe, quality housing
We work with community organizations, municipal and regional planners, schools and health care providers. We begin with conversations to learn what is important to our community. From there, we find ways to weave in health and wellness improvements that fit the priorities of our towns, such as economic development. All Vermonters will thrive when our living condiitons help to eliminate differences in health for different groups of people.
There are many ways that the Morrisville office can help shape a healthier community. We can:
- share examples of language that promotes health with cities and towns in order to strengthen regional plans.
- provide a Safe Routes to Schools Regional Expert to provide support to schools.
- provide public health data and information to inform planning.
- provide education about why sidewalks and healthy foods options in local markets are important.
- connect you with useful resources and provide examples of similar work done in other communities to help you on your way.
- look for funds to help town officials and organizations support health-promoting efforts
Healthy Foods: The Lamoille Valley Nutritionist Collaborative has joined efforts to improve access to healthy foods through a variety of initiatives. All started with a local food system asset. The Nutritionist Collaborative partners with Copley Hospital, the University of Vermont Extension, Salvation Farms and the Lamoille Valley Hunger Council to offer hunger screening, service referrals, regular nutrition education, gleaning opportunities and community garden support.
Physical Activity: We collaborate with local communities to promote healthy behaviors in our local parks. Morristown’s Oxbow Park is an example of how municipal parks are valuable spaces for families and communities to be active throughout the seasons. Physical activity is enhanced when the environment is smoke and vape-free. In 2018 Healthy Lamoille Valley and the Health Department collaborated with Morristown to design a no-tobacco/no-vaping sign and policy for the park.
Safe Routes to School: Cambridge Elementary School created a travel plan that they will help make their town a safer community for those who want to walk and bike to school. This process began with a walkability study that included support from various state associations. The school brought awareness to the community by participating in the International Walk to School Day. The school will maintain community awareness by participating in Walk-to School events. If you are interested in Safe Routes to School, contact Lamoille Valley regional expert, Rob Moore 802-851-6347 or Rob@lcpcvt.orgHealth in all Policies: In 2019 the Hyde Park Selectboard approved a Healthy Community Policy and has signed a 3-4-50 commitment letter with the Health Department, healthy community partner. By signing on as a 3-4-50 Partner, Hyde Park officials agrees to do what they can to create and sustain a healthy environment. One example is at the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail trailhead in Hyde Park, where you will see a healthy community sign encouraging users of the rail trail to keep it safe, clean and tobacco and vape free. You will also find historical reference signs that make using the trail even more interesting.
What does 3-4-50 mean?
3 behaviors – lack of physical activity, poor diet, and tobacco use – lead to 4 chronic diseases – cancer, heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes, and lung disease – that are the cause of more than 50 percent of all deaths in Vermont.
This understanding inspires us to take action. Communities that are built to support physical activity, safe walking and biking, use of public transportation, and easy access to fresh foods are essential for good health.