Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Join the Movement to Transform Wisconsin

The tremendous burdens of obesity and tobacco on our state are well-known. Earlier this week, the CDC released new data showing that more than a quarter (27.7%) of Wisconsinites are obese, and the national costs related to obesity are staggering. A separate study released this week underscored the importance of promoting smoke-free living, reporting that nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke outdoors experience significant, lingering health effects.

By joining the Transform Wisconsin movement, you have an opportunity to do something to reverse these trends and improve the health of your community.

Transform Wisconsin is a new statewide effort that seeks to improve the health of our communities.  It is founded on the idea that health doesn’t happen in the doctor’s office – it happens where we live, work, and play.

At its core, Transform Wisconsin is about solutions.

In late July, the Transform Wisconsin Coalition awarded 30 grants, totaling $6.6 million over the next 26 months, to diverse community organizations across the state. Transform Wisconsin Coalition leaders, local grantees and community members gathered to announce the news at American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison, Stoney Acres Farm in Athens (near Wausau), Emerson Elementary School in La Crosse, the North Beach Gazebo in Racine, and the Eastside YMCA in Green Bay. 

Twenty-four communities are receiving an Impact Grant, which will focus on one of three key areas: expanding smoke free environments to include apartment buildings, strengthening farm to school programs so Wisconsin students have access to fresh fruits and vegetables, or increasing physical activity for kids by promoting and implementing open gyms between schools and community agencies. 

In addition, six communities are receiving a Transform Wisconsin Grant, which will focus efforts on all three key areas. In total, the projects will reach over 2.6 million people in Wisconsin, or about half of the state’s population. 

Transform Wisconsin is an unprecedented opportunity for individuals and communities to come together to improve health through innovative and effective local policies.

We all agree we want our kids to be safe and healthy. Together, we can – and we will – transform Wisconsin to a place where kids eat fresh, local fruits and vegetables at school; community members use schools for physical activity; and everyone has an opportunity to live in smoke-free housing.

Through Transform Wisconsin, communities across the state will improve health by making it easier for all residents to make healthy choices.

Everyone has a role in solving obesity and preventing chronic diseases. We invite doctors, teachers, farmers, and people in communities across the state to come together to find solutions that work for Wisconsin.

We need you to join the Transform Wisconsin movement! Visit today and sign up to receive updates or volunteer for a project in your community.  

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