As BACH and its partners embark on the final leg of the 3 year project, Let’s Get Healthy, Boston!* we are eager to share notable highlights of our work and impact.
Towards the goal of increasing the number of smoke free affordable housing units available in Boston, in 2016, we have transitioned a total of 9,148 units to smoke free. That is 2,956 units over our projected target. Through the efforts of the HCCs, the Healthy homes team at the Boston public Health Commission as well as through a recent public awareness campaign” Go Smoke Free”. The campaign raises awareness that landlords who choose to make their properties tobacco smoke-free not only meet market demand, promote fire safety, and save time, money and effort on maintenance and management – they also improve the health and safety of their tenants and staff. For the last year of the LGHB project, the HCCs will extend this campaign, by focusing their efforts on story telling, and interpersonal communications amongst neighbors and peers, to promote and seek to normalize smoke free housing as the gold standard and norm in new and existing homes.
Healthy Community Champions (HCCs) in 6 neighborhoods, continue their work to increase the awareness and demand for non- sugar sweetened beverages conclude their year 2 outreach work with record numbers. There were 30 corner stores that participated in the Rethink Your Drink campaign and an estimated 2,500 residents reached. Another 6,700 residents were reached through LGHB supported Fair Foods sites or other health food access points. As part of the Rethink Your Drink, HCCs were joined by City Councilor Mark Ciommo, of the 9th District to applaud and recognize 5 corner stores in Allston and Brighton that have participated in offering signage and promotions to encourage better beverage choices to resident’s.
As part of our Active Transportation work, The Safe Routes To School team, spearheaded by Boston Public Schools hosted a successful Walk to School Day effort on October 5th with 11 schools participating across the city. Mayor Walsh and Police Commission Evans joined the Mather Elementary School, Dorchester on their walk to school parade that uses education and encourage to normalize walking safely to school. Visit www.bostonpublicschools.org/saferoutes for information and learn if your neighborhood school is participating and what you could do to support this work.
This past fall, LGHB supported 3 Boston women to participate in the well-regarded League of American Cycling Licensed Cycling Instructors Training to gain a national licensure that permits them to teach cycling to different kinds of learners. The three women, Michelle Cook, Healthy Community Ambassador (Roxbury), Farah Wong, Healthy Community Champion (Allston) and Vivian Ortiz, Healthy Community Coordinator (Mattapan), joins the small set of other LCIs in Boston and augments the capacity to offer neighborhood based, bicultural or bilingual cycling instructors to complement the City’s exiting learn to ride program for women.
This spring, a consortium of cyclists, transportation advocates, residents, policy makers and health professionals will convene a city wide Biking Forum to discuss and establish a Boston bike agenda, speaking to intersection of health, equity and biking, biking infrastructure amongst other topics. The forum scheduled for early spring. Stay tuned for more details.