Broward Regional Health Planning Council’s (BRHPC) Partnerships Transforming Our Community’s Health (TOUCH) Initiative has begun an exciting and ambitious new project – Healthy Community Zones – through its CDC’s Partnership for Improving Community Health (PICH) funding.
After a rigorous selection process the following communities have been selected as the initial Healthy Community Zones: 1) Housing Authority of the City of Fort Lauderdale; 2) Dania Beach CRA and the City of Dania Beach; 3) Memorial Healthcare System Hallandale Beach; and 4) A section of unincorporated Broward County designated as the Broward Municipal Services District (BMSD). BRHPC congratulates those selected and is looking forward to many successes over the next several years as the program is implemented.
The implementation of HCZ through TOUCH will benefit Broward County by providing opportunities to partner and collaborate with TOUCH and leading community organizations in order to foster a shared vision of health, economic development and education in Broward County as well as envisioning and designing improvements for the selected communities in the four (4) TOUCH focus areas which include: Tobacco Free Living; Active Living & Healthy Eating; Healthy and Safe Physical Environments; and Clinical and Community Linkages.
Michael De Lucca, President and CEO of BRHPC notes, “These innovative Healthy Community Zone recipients will receive over $100,000 in technical assistance to energize their residents to take an active role in their health and the health of their community. By working together for a healthier community, these HCZ recipients will help reduce the leading causes of diseases, chronic conditions and early deaths of their residents.”
About the Broward Regional Health Planning Council – Broward Regional Health Planning Council, Inc. (BRHPC) is a not-for-profit, established in 1983, under Florida Statute (408.033), as the legislatively designated Broward County local health planning entity. BRHPC is committed to delivering health and human service innovations for the uninsured at the national, state and local level through planning, development, implementation, evaluation and organizational capacity.
For more information, please contact Mike De Lucca, President and CEO by telephone at 954-561-9681 Ext. 1201 or via email at MDeLucca@BRHPC.org or you may contact Teina Phillips, TOUCH Director at TPhillips@BRHPC.org
In Dania Beach, CRA director Jeremy Earle took a different path when planning a garden. “CRAs sit on the business side of government. They must eliminate blight and show a return on investment,” Earle said.
Instead of a community garden, Earle envisioned a self-sustaining market garden run by locals, creating jobs as well as potentially improving health.
Dubbed PATCH — short for People’s Access To Community Horticulture — the garden took root in 2013 in Dania Beach’s Sun Garden Isles neighborhood, designated a “food desert” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Food deserts are areas where the residents have limited healthy food options.
Helped by seed money from the Broward Regional Health Planning Council, the city set out 2,500 grow bags — plastic bags filled with soil and nutrients — on city-owned land that had been a magnet for dirt bikers and trash. Besides being a productive growing medium, the bags safeguarded against possible saltwater intrusion and potential contaminants from a nearby warehouse site, PATCH’s management team said.
Soon the 1.6 acres blossomed with kale and collards, Swiss chard and baby eggplants. With shoppers from Fort Lauderdale as well as the city’s winter Canadian tourist trade, PATCH’s profits easily exceeded the $1,000 a year in CRA funds needed to run it.
Dania Beach Community Redevelopment Agency Wins Statewide Awards from the Florida Redevelopment Association – Roy F. Kenzie Award for Cultural Enhancement
The DBCRA created a Community Garden, The PATCH™, on a vacant 1.6 acre lot to provide local organically grown vegetables to residents as part of an initiative to eliminate blight, promote economic development and improve community health. The idea led to a successful partnership between the DBCRA and the Broward Regional Health Planning Council and is an outstanding example of how non-traditional partnerships can be created in order to fulfill the CRA’s mandate to build better communities. The PATCH™ is truly “People’s Access to Community Horticulture”, making a strong, positive impact on quality of life in Dania Beach.
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