Thank you, Pittsburgh, for giving residents and visitors safer streets for walking, biking, and increased physical activity!
By Our Friends at Reinvent Communications
Dr. Corey Wiggins, a Mississippi native, was on track to becoming a physician until he participated in a congressional fellowship that changed the direction of his career.
At the time Dr. Wiggins, an undergraduate student at Alcorn State University, was accepted to be a Barbara Jordan Health Policy Scholar where he worked on health policy issues for the United State Senate.
“I had a strong desire to help people and to be of service to the community,” Dr. Wiggins said, “It’s then when I realized that as a physician I could only impact one person at a time but through policy I could impact millions.”
Dr. Wiggins’ desire to help others was informed by the civil rights movement and leaders like Theodore Roosevelt Mason (T.R.M.) Howard who provided the black community in Alabama with affordable healthcare while being an activist in the movement. In addition to being physician, T.R.M. Howard was also a successful entrepreneur. The history of T.R.M. Howard rings strong with Dr. Wiggins who is the State Health Chair for the Mississippi State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), a Voices for Healthy Kids grantee.
Mr. Wiggins sees himself as a translator for the community who can incorporate voices from the community to frame and inform policy. There is a lot of information in academia and at the capitol, he said, but it is not readily available to our community members or understandable with practitioners on the ground.
“It’s all about how you frame the issue, and I prefer to think of communities as places with assets instead of working out of a place of a deficit, to identify solutions,” Dr. Wiggins said. In his view there are many assets in the community that can be leveraged to create healthier communities. For example, schools can encourage healthy eating by creating community gardens.
“By making innovative policy changes we may be able to create healthier communities while also connecting people with better paying jobs,” Dr. Wiggins said.
Dr. Corey Wiggins, a Mississippi native, is the Director of the Hope Policy Institute, the policy division of HOPE (Hope Enterprise Corporation and Hope Credit Union). As director, Dr. Wiggins manages the strategic direction, sustainability, research training and advocacy agenda for the Institute. Dr. Wiggins completed his undergraduate studies at Alcorn State University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. He also holds a Master of Science of Public Health with an emphasis in Health Policy and a Doctor of Philosophy in Health Promotion and Health Education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Two new complete streets and equity reports have been released and are the result of a project to study equity elements in complete streets policies, the characteristics of communities with equity elements in their policies, and to qualitatively understand how equity elements in complete streets policies are being implemented in practice. Learn more about the reports here.
Eight applicants have been awarded funds that will help young students walk, bike and roll safely to and from school.
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Leaders are people who are actively working - either professionally or as volunteers - to change policies and environments to help children eat better and be more active. We use the following criteria to evaluate whether to approve an applicant for Leader status with the Voices for Healthy Kids Action Center.
Do you meet the criteria below? If so, register as a Leader here. There is no cost to be a Leader.
At least one item must be checked within each of the following two categories:
1. Applicant is focused on changing policies and environments
They are working on one of Voices for Healthy Kid's six issue areas:
Ensure foods and beverages in schools meet dietary guidelines
Expand community access to high quality food
Expand physical activity programs in and out of school
Improve built environment in communities to increase physical activity
Use pricing strategies to promote purchase of healthier foods
Use regulation/policy to reduce youth exposure to unhealthy food marketing
They are working on other obesity-related issues, such as:
Their primary focus is working on individual behavior (e.g., teaching kids about food, play, etc.), but they have access to organizations that could provide opportunities to change environments, such as
Public Health Agencies
Their project is commercial, but contributes positively to changing policies and environments, such as:
2. Applicant is organizing others or contributing to organizing efforts
They are organizing others by:
Providing volunteer opportunities
Building contact lists of supporters to engage in advocacy
They provide support to organizations or leaders doing work changing policies and environments, such as:
They are a leader in a governmental body that may be the target of organizing efforts to change policies and environments, such as a:
Federal or state agency
Mayor or other local executive office
Federal, state, county or local public health department
Federal, state, county or transportation department
Federal, state or local education agency or school board
If the applicant claims to work for an organization, at least one item must be checked below:
3. Applicant works for an organization:
Has an email address that matches the domain of the organization they list
Is listed on the organization website as staff
The Voices for Healthy Kids Action Center is looking for bloggers who can write about issues that matter to our community on a regular basis. If you would like to be considered for this network, please check this box.