SOURCE: CityHealth


December 06, 2016 08:00 ET

CityHealth Ratings Set for February Release

Project Encourages Action Steps for Leaders to Create Healthy, Strong Communities

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - December 06, 2016) - CityHealth, a project of the de Beaumont Foundation, will release its first round of highly anticipated city policy ratings in February -- a culmination of a two-year study of best policy practices with its roots in evidence and its eyes on change. Additionally, CityHealth announced its new package of nine proven, attainable policies that will help millions of people live longer, better lives in vibrant, prosperous communities.

"Cities are where innovative solutions are born, tested, and proven," said Edward L. Hunter, president and CEO of the de Beaumont Foundation. "Cities have led the way in becoming incubators of new policies, such as establishing smoke-free restaurants and pioneering transportation innovations that unclog our streets and keep our air clean."

CityHealth will score cities on the number and strength of the nine policies identified by a panel of experts. Each of the examined cities will be assigned a medal status -- Gold, Silver, Bronze, or none based on that evaluation.

"With more than three out of five Americans living in a city, there is a tremendous opportunity to use proven policies to improve health and quality of life for millions," said Dr. Shelley Hearne, CityHealth principal investigator. "Health reaches far beyond medical care, and in fact the things that affect our everyday lives -- like education, safe streets, and access to healthy food -- are shown to have a greater impact on overall health than healthcare itself."

The nine policy solutions are:

Employment benefits: Earned sick leave policies require employers to provide paid leave to workers for their own, and sometimes their family members' illness. Earned sick leave protects peoples' jobs and economic security, keeps adults and kids healthy and prevents the spread of disease.

Education: Universal, high-quality pre-kindergarten helps ensure that young children are better prepared to enter Kindergarten ready to learn. Among its many benefits, high quality pre-k has been shown to boost high school graduation rates, reduce referrals to special education and help kids get screened for health concerns.

Affordable housing: Inclusionary zoning policies set aside a percentage of affordable apartments or condos in newly built developments. These policies help people afford to live and work in their communities, boosting their economic security and quality of life.

Active living/transportation: Complete streets policies help make sure city residents can travel safely throughout their community-whether they go by foot, bike, public transit or car.

Public safety: Zoning regulations on alcohol outlet density help control the number of places in a neighborhood that sell alcohol. Extensive evidence links alcohol use to crime and violence, from homicide to rape to car accidents-and the more places that sell alcohol in a neighborhood, the higher likelihood of these incidents.

Tobacco control: Tobacco 21 policies set the minimum age to purchase tobacco products at 21. By curbing tobacco use among young adults, these policies have been shown to decrease the number of people who start -- and continue -- smoking.

Environment: Comprehensive smoking bans keep tobacco out of workplaces, restaurants, bars, and other places where people gather. They help curb the number of people who use tobacco, and dramatically cut exposure to toxic secondhand smoke.

Food Safety: Restaurant grading policies require all restaurants to publicly display the results of their food inspections. When done right, they help prevent the spread of foodborne illness and costly outbreaks.

Nutrition: Healthy procurement policies set smart nutrition standards for all foods served and sold on city property, from vending machines, concessions and cafeterias to city-run nursing homes and jails. They make sure healthy options are available, whether people are eating some or all of their food on city property.

The 40 cities by population size that CityHealth will score and for which ratings will be announced in February, include:

  1. New York City
  2. Los Angeles
  3. Chicago
  4. Houston
  5. Philadelphia
  6. Phoenix
  7. San Antonio
  8. San Diego
  9. Dallas
  10. San Jose
  11. Austin
  12. Jacksonville
  13. San Francisco
  14. Indianapolis
  15. Columbus
  16. Fort Worth
  17. Charlotte
  18. Seattle
  19. Denver
  20. El Paso
  21. Detroit
  22. Washington, DC
  23. Boston
  24. Memphis
  25. Nashville
  26. Portland, OR
  27. Oklahoma City
  28. Las Vegas
  29. Baltimore
  30. Louisville
  31. Milwaukee
  32. Albuquerque
  33. Tucson
  34. Fresno
  35. Sacramento
  36. Kansas City
  37. Long Beach
  38. Mesa
  39. Atlanta
  40. Virginia Beach

CityHealth, an initiative of the de Beaumont Foundation, provides leaders with a package of proven, attainable policy solutions that will help millions of people live longer, better lives in vibrant, prosperous communities. CityHealth will regularly evaluate cities on the number and strength of the policies they put into place.

The de Beaumont Foundation is dedicated to improving the capacity and performance of US public health system, and to equipping public health agencies to thrive in a transforming health landscape. In so doing, we aspire to improve the health of the populations of the communities they serve across the US.

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