Clark County Public Health honored for obesity prevention

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Clark County Public Health recently received the 2012 Translating Research to Policy Award from Active Living Research, a national Robert Wood Johnson Foundation program.

The county was the only entity to receive the annual award, which recognizes research supporting policy and environmental changes to prevent obesity in youth.

The health department received the award for its health impact assessment, used as a guide for the Clark County Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, which was adopted in 2010.

The assessment helped planners and policymakers evaluate the health impacts of plan elements, taking into consideration people who have fewer opportunities for physical exercise. As a result, the plan emphasizes projects in low-income neighborhoods, near schools and in locations that improve access to grocery stores.

“We are honored by this recognition of our efforts to improve community health through public policy,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer. “The process showed how we can make health information and data most useful in community planning.”