HOW DID QC TRAILS BEGIN?
The QC Trails website originated out of the Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) Program, Division of Community Health (DCH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The goal of these partnerships is to improve the health and wellness of all Americans. PICH is a 3-year initiative that supports implementation of evidence-based strategies to improve the health of communities and reduce the prevalence of chronic disease.
PICH builds on a body of knowledge developed through previously funded Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) programs and encourages collaborations with a multi-sectoral coalition to implement sustainable changes in communities where people live, learn, work, and play. For more information, visit CDC's website.
WHO HELPS SUPPORT QC TRAILS?
Quad City Health Initiative (QCHI) was awarded funding through CDC’s PICH program in September, 2014 for Year 1 of the program to help enhance local efforts that increase access to environments with healthy food or beverage options and that increase access to physical activity opportunities. QCHI engaged the following partners to implement this work: Bi-State Regional Commission, Rock Island Regional Office of Education, and Broadway Presbyterian Church. The efforts are being supported by members of the QCHI Board and QCHI’s Be Healthy QC Coalition. UnityPoint Health-Trinity (Trinity Medical Center) is serving as the fiscal agent for this grant.
Bi-State Regional Commission, the regional planning organization for the Quad Cities headed up the project to develop the interactive, web-based map that shows connectivity between public resources for physical activity. Bi-State staff engaged the Center for Community GIS (CCGIS), a custom mapping services company located in Maine to develop the website, mapping environment, and content management system.
WHAT IS THE BE HEALTHY QC PROJECT?
The Be Healthy QC project is a collaborative effort developed in conjunction with the organizations named above, in particular through the lead organization, Quad City Health Initiative (QCHI), a community partnership dedicated to improving health and quality of life in the QCA. The purpose of the Be Healthy QC project is to enhance local efforts that increase access to environments with healthy food and beverage options and that increase access to physical activity opportunities.
Specifically, the project seeks to implement policy, systems and environmental changes in the schools and community sectors that will contribute to this increased access. Partners also seek to increase access to healthy foods for priority populations in our community. In addition, project partners are engaged in activities to enhance our community’s infrastructure for supporting community health activities.
WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF THE BE HEALTHY QC PROJECT?
By the end of the 3-year project period, these partners expect to positively impact the health of at least 75% of the Quad Cities population through the following strategies: developing enhanced comprehensive school wellness policies; establishing neighborhood gardens and increasing local access to healthy food; creating Safe Routes to School travel plans; developing an interactive, web-based trails map that shows connectivity between public resources for physical activity; and building organizational infrastructure to support community health activities.
These strategies will translate to an increase in our community’s health as measured by the increased daily consumption of fruit and vegetables and increased physical activity. Ultimately, this effort will contribute to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s long-term national objectives of reducing the prevalence of obesity by 3% and reducing rates of death and disability due to diabetes, heart disease and stroke by 3%.
WHAT ARE SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL PLANS?
Safe Routes to School Plans are similarly funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in support of the Be Healthy QC project administered by the Quad City Health Initiative. Safe Routes to School is a national and international movement to create safe, convenient, and fun opportunities for children to bicycle and walk to and from school.
The program was designed to reverse the decline in children walking and bicycling to schools. Safe Routes to School can also play a critical role in reversing the nationwide trend toward childhood obesity and inactivity.