Monday, March 19, 2012

My job ends, all hail my new job

The Centers For Disease Control grant that's funded my job for the past 2 years ended yesterday. It's been a pretty good run. Lots of good experiences, a number of excellent colleagues and I've been able to immerse myself in making the city better for people who walk and ride their bikes. Pretty much the perfect job. Though the grant ended, I'm pleased to say that I won't be leaving MOTU afterall. I've been moved over to the City's general funds and have been assured a place here for the next couple of years. Luckily, most of the awesome people who were hired with me through the Get Healthy Philly initiative are staying on. Here's a note from Giridhar Mallya (GEER-thur)the program director about the awesome stuff we've accomplished. 
 Over the last two years, we have implemented an impressive collection of policies and programs that make it easier for Philadelphians to eat healthfully, be physically active, and live smoke-free. It’s hard to summarize our accomplishments in a brief letter, so please stay tuned for our Get Healthy Philly Annual Report in May 2012. Here, though, are some quick highlights:
  • 200+ smoke-free recreation centers, playgrounds, and pools, affecting over 2 million visits per year 
  • 600+ healthy corner stores, increasing access to healthy foods for hundreds of thousands of low-income Philadelphians 
  • Nearly 2,000 tobacco retailers that have applied for permits from the Department of Public Health, enabling us to monitor and enforce tobacco laws, particularly those preventing sales to thousands of youth smokers 
  • 160 public schools, serving 100,000 Philadelphia children, that have implemented healthy fundraisers, socialized recess, and classroom movement breaks 
  • Tripling of Quitline use among Philadelphians and expansion of smoking cessation coverage for 80,000 adult smokers covered by Medicaid 
  • Two new dedicated bike lanes, large-scale pedestrian and bicyclist safety education and enforcement, and embedding of health impact assessments into the citywide district planning process 
  • Tens of millions of media impressions encouraging Philadelphians to quit smoking and reduce their sugary drink consumption. 
 The changes that we’ve fostered over the past two years will have long-lasting effects. Over the course of the next 6-12 months, we will be completing evaluations and looking to share the impact of our collective work through conferences and publications.

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