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Osceola County recognized as a champion for healthier communities

The Florida Department of Health (FDOH) recognized Osceola County as one of 46 communities in Florida to receive the Healthy Community Champion Award, a program that highlights efforts to improve the built environment– places where people live, work and play. A town, village, city or county is eligible for this recognition if they implemented a “Health in All Policies” (HiAP) approach to comprehensive planning. It is a two-year designation granted by FDOH and recipients are given opportunities to receive technical assistance to further the implementation of health in all policies.

What is a HiAP approach? It is a collaborative effort that integrates health considerations into all policymaking sectors. The approach strives to improve the overall health of a community, while improving the population’s health and health equity. HiAP states that social determinants of a community’s health are public transportation, economic opportunities, education access, access to physical activity, employee wellness and access to healthy and affordable food.

Osceola County implements the Complete Streets policies and has recently adopted the Best Foot Forward initiative to improve pedestrian safety. By implementing these initiatives, walkability and safety are put first. This makes access to many community components more accessible, such as safer pedestrian/cyclist paths, improved public transportation and increased opportunity for physical activity.

Bike/Walk Central Florida is happy to give our sincere congratulations to all employees of Osceola County who implement healthy choices and to all partners who also support this collaborative approach.

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