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Healthiest Cities & Challenges Highlights Report Released

July-December 2021

Engaging Residents to Co-Design Interventions to Improve Food Quality

Read about one of our lessons learned in community partnership on page 4 of the newest Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge Highlights Report recently released by the American Public Health Association (APHA)! The report is framed around the theme of community collaboration and resilience in honor of this year’s National Public Health Week theme, “Public Health is Where You Are.”

Our Community Snapshot captures the deepened partnership the GCRFPC has built with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital through Children’s SAFE Collaborative.

And We Celebrated National Public Health Week!

Jennifer Foster, one of our Community Advisory Board members, and Carley Riley of Children’s and Lauren Bartoszek of The Health Collaborative, two of our key organizational partners in the Challenge, also recently presented on “Equity and Accessibility in Community” in a panel session for National Public Health Week and APHA’s 150th anniversary celebration. The topic of the session was focused on “Lessons from the Pandemic and Beyond,” and included discussion of food access interventions and actions that were part of our region’s pandemic response.

Panelists discussed factors for success in public health that our region and others can continue to apply going forward, including:

  • collaboration between organizations and community members, working differently but truly together,

  • active listening and empathy,

  • pairing education with other resources, and

  • building trust by leveraging relationships, shared data, and existing expertise within the community were all key factors for success.

Our partners utilized several illustrative metaphors to convey their findings, and one about the decision-making table illustrated the multiple layers of equity and accessibility:

Get the right people at the table doing the part that fits them. Remember that “the right people” look like everyone. And recognize that sometimes the table needs to be dismantled and rebuilt.

Attendees said the session was the highlight of their day and captured their favorite moments in the chat, including, “It takes a village to raise a village,” and, “If you can’t spell it, you can’t eat it” (in reference to ultra-processed foods), both quotations from Ms. Foster.


This work is supported by APHA, a membership association that champions the health of all people and all communities, with support from the Aetna Foundation, an independent, charitable, philanthropic affiliate of CVS Health. The views presented here are those of the author and not necessarily those of the American Public Health Association or the Aetna Foundation, its directors, officers, or staff.


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