AARP Arkansas' efforts to make Arkansas communities more walkable and livable earned the state Department of Health Chronic Disease Coordinating Council 2012 Trendsetter Award.
See Also: Chronic Disease: the Invisible Illness
AARP Arkansas was cited for supporting its collaboration partner, the Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention (ArCOP) to lead more than 22 communities to look at ways to provide more opportunities for active transportation.
As part of the larger coalition, AARP "provided materials, training, funding, and direct community technical assistance to make this happen," the award citation states. Further, they helped to bring national walkability expert Dan Burden to Arkansas several times during the last year.
The award citation also singles out Lou Tobian, AARP Arkansas Associate State Director-Outreach & Education, for the outstanding work he did in helping Growing Healthy Community sites become more walkable. State Director Maria Reynolds-Diaz also was cited for supporting the concept in Arkansas and for demonstrating the "necessity of participating in unlikely, diverse partnerships in order to achieve a desired outcome."
A chronic disease is a disease that lasts three months or more, according to the US Center for Health Statistics. Chronic diseases can be controlled but not cured, and many require health care management for effective long term treatment. Diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s and asthma are examples of chronic diseases.
The Chronic Disease Coordinating Council works with the Chronic Disease Branch of the state Health Department to reduce the impact of chronic diseases and their risk factors in Arkansas. As part of this effort, a set of Arkansas-specific Healthy People 2020 Chronic Disease Objectives have been developed related to chronic disease prevention and control.
Reynolds-Diaz accepted the Trendsetter award on AARP’s behalf during the recent Annual Chronic Disease Forum Conference in Little Rock.
“Working with all the organizations in ArCOP toward greater walkability has created an opportunity for AARP to bring social change to communities in rural areas of the state where residents will benefit greatly,” Reynolds-Diaz said.
See Also: The Roads Scholar: Dan Burden
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