Putting Prevention to Work for a Healthier Community
Making health happen across a diverse community isn’t an easy task but Douglas County is doing just that. By defining our vision and building systems for change, we’re now recognized nationally as an example of what can happen when good ideas converge with strong leadership and the right partners.
Today, Douglas County-led initiatives are making a difference in the lives of many of our neighbors who need it most — from making healthy life choices more accessible to helping minimize the impact of chronic disease.
And that’s just the beginning. Douglas County Health Department (DCHD) is actively working across sectors as we redefine our health landscape. Working with private partners like Live Well Omaha, local universities, health systems and community networks, Douglas County is expanding its role as community health strategists, beginning at the neighborhood level, to create an environment that supports a culture of health and sustains active, healthy lifestyles across our county.
Douglas County initiatives are happening all around us.
Creating healthy environments is key to reversing the obesity epidemic, and when more neighborhoods have access to fresh, healthy foods, everyone benefits. Since 2010, Douglas County’s award-winning initiative, Healthy Neighborhood Stores, has helped grow economic opportunity in underserved neighborhoods, strengthened community connections and helped bring healthy, affordable food options to those who have traditionally had the hardest time accessing them.
Omaha’s Healthy Neighborhood Stores:
- Cubby’s: CW Hadan Dr., Bennington
- J-N-D Grocery: 6341 N. 24 St., Omaha
- Phil’s Foodway: 3030 Ames Ave., Omaha
- T-N-A Grocery Store: 3247 N. 42nd St., Omaha
- Selena’s Market: 3228 California St., Omaha
- KNJ Grocery: 3301 California St., Omaha
- La Guera: 4233 S. 24th St., Omaha
- Las Nena’s: 4901 S. 24 St., Omaha
- Afoma Corner Store: 5522 S. 30 St., Omaha
- Daddy’s Neighborhood Fresh Market: 4811 N W Radial Hwy, Omaha
- Fair Deal Grocery Market: 2118 N. 24th St., Omaha
- Dollar General: 5636 Ames Ave., Omaha
Other healthy eating initiatives include working with local food producers to get fresh, nutritious food to area businesses places of worship, teaming up with schools and area food pantries to ensure more children have access to healthy foods, and reimagining how vending machines can offer healthier options.
Physical activity is foundational to better health, greater happiness and higher overall quality of life. The major barriers most people face when trying to increase physical activity are time, access to convenient facilities, and safe environments in which to be active.
Douglas County and partnering organizations are working to reduce these barriers through efforts that include: policy and communications support for businesses to provide time for employees to move more throughout the day, providing bike racks to promote active transportation, transportation demand management support for companies and institution that seek to encourage transportation mode shifts, making safer routes for children who walk to school, and building physical activity into school programs.
Clinical Care that Counts
In our community, heart disease and stroke together claim more lives than cancer – according to the DCHD Vital Statistics (2011). Fortunately, heart disease and stroke also are among the most preventable. The leading controllable risk factor for cardiovascular disease and stroke is high blood pressure.
An innovative partnership between pharmacists and physicians through Douglas County helps individuals carefully monitor and more effectively control high blood pressure. Today, Douglas County is leading the development of a Community Health Worker system to maximize these opportunities within their communities to facilitate even better outcomes.
Both of these projects are further underpinned by hands-on partnerships, under Douglas County’s leadership, dedicated to connecting every clinical touch point with the meaningful use of Electronic Health Records throughout the community.
Douglas County, University of Nebraska Medical Center, YMCA and others are partnering with local businesses, faith-based organizations and physicians to educate at-risk populations and connect them to resources that will enable them to lead a healthier life — possibly preventing them from developing diabetes or living more successfully with it.
As of today, approximately 50 have taken part or participated in the Diabetes Prevention Programs, at little or no cost to themselves, across the community.
Learn more about a healthy and sustainable Douglas County!