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Columbus, Ohio

(Partner: National Association of County and City Health Officials)

Community Mission

The ACHIEVE CHART of Columbus, Ohio will engage top level leaders in all community sectors to implement policy and environmental strategies to increase the initiation and duration of breastfeeding and facilitate better diets and increased physical activity for all children ages birth to 5 years old in zip codes 43205, 43206 and 43207.

Community Information

Columbus is the capital and largest city in Ohio. According to the 2008 American Community Survey, the population of Columbus is 65.2% white; 26.1% African American; 5% Hispanic and 4.3% Asian. Columbus City Schools (CCS) is the largest school district in the city, serving approximately 53,000 students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. Three-fourths of CCS students receive free and reduced lunches and 61% of students are African American. In 2009-2010, 29% of the children entering kindergarten and 47% of fifth graders were overweight or obese.

The Columbus ACHIEVE project targets an area comprised of three zip codes 43205, 43206, 43207 situated within the City of Columbus. At the time of the 2010 census, 79,280 people (6,654 children ages birth to 5 years) lived in these three zip codes. More than half of the population is African American, with unemployment rates as high as 11.2% in the 43205 zip code. There are 28 licensed child care centers, 46 Type B home child care homes, 12 elementary schools, 1 middle school and 3 high schools. There are 55 parks and 6 community centers operated by the Columbus Recreation and Parks department.
With eleven locations and an Urgent Care, Nationwide Children’s Primary Care Network (PCN) is the primary healthcare provider for the target population in this area. In 2009, the PCN had approximately 157,000 office visits. Of the 56,000 unique patients seen, 94% were on Medicaid.

Community Change Strategy

Build the CHART Team’s capacity to impact policy, system and environment: Through continuing education for existing CHART members and developing a Columbus Action Institute for Early Childhood Obesity Prevention, we will add new voices to advocate for policy, system and environmental change strategies to help prevent obesity in early childhood.

Engage safety advocates in early childhood obesity prevention strategies: Connect with block watches, non-violence coalitions and other community groups to share ideas and information about how threats to personal safety, both perceived and real, impact childhood obesity.
Inform and promote policies to create a healthier nutrition and physical activity environment in City facilities: City policy efforts will include protecting a woman’s right to breastfeed in public places and offering a clean private space for women to pump or nurse; increasing the availability and affordability of healthier foods and beverages in vending machines on City property; increasing the availability of healthy food and beverage options at meetings and events at City facilities.
Support and incentivize organizations and businesses that serve the pregnant women and children ages 0-5 in the neighborhoods of 43205, 43206, 43207: Provide support and resources to help implement policies and practices that support breastfeeding, increase access to healthy foods and offer more opportunities for physical activity.  

Community Successes

  • 8 members of the CHART Team developed expertise in the policy, system and environment approach to public health by attending the Centers for Disease Control sponsored Action Institute in June, 2011.
  • The CHART Team conducted more than 10 walking tours of neighborhoods in the 43205, 43206 and 43207 neighborhoods to develop an understanding of the assets and opportunities for improving the health of young children and their families.
  • Nine members of the CHART Team expanded their knowledge of current issues in the prevention and treatment of obesity by attending Obesity and Chronic Disease: Making and Unmaking the Epidemic sponsored by Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University’s Food Innovation Center in November, 2011.

NACCHO National Association of Chronic Disease Directors National Recreation and Park Association SOPHE YMCA - Activate America