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January 25, 2017 6:07 PMCategory: Health Equity

APA News Release: Building Local Capacity to Connect Planning and Public Health

See original news release on the APA website.

The American Planning Association (APA) is providing $1.5 million in funding to 28 of its chapters through the Planners4Health initiative to continue to create stronger, healthier communities. The initiative will focus on greater coordination between planners and public health professionals at the state level.

The six-month initiative will ensure planners and public health professionals have access to information and resources to help their communities more easily support and implement healthy living choices. Planners4Health marks the culmination of APA’s three-year, $9 million Plan4Health program that works to combat two determinants of chronic disease — lack of physical activity and lack of access to nutritious foods. Funding for the initiative is provided through a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“This is a significant opportunity to further build upon the momentum generated during the first two years of the initiative,” said Anna Ricklin, AICP, manager of APA’s Planning and Community Health Center. “By assisting our chapters, we will build capacity for healthy planning at the local level to benefit people where they live, learn, work, and play.”

Through Planners4Health, APA Chapters will be responsible for:

  • Identifying potential partners
  • Leveraging existing healthy community initiatives and efforts under way
  • Sharing planning and public health information
  • Bringing together key stakeholders

Each APA Chapter will create a task force to oversee the project deliverables and ongoing activities. The following APA Chapters received funding:

APA California

APA Arkansas

APA Colorado

APA Delaware

APA Florida

APA Georgia

APA Hawaii

APA Illinois

APA Indiana

APA Iowa

APA Kansas

APA Louisiana

APA Minnesota

APA Missouri

APA Nebraska

APA New Mexico

APA New York Metro

APA North Carolina

APA Northern New England

APA Ohio

APA Oregon

APA Pennsylvania

APA Rhode Island

APA Tennessee

APA Texas

APA Utah

APA Washington

APA Wisconsin

Chapters receiving funding were selected after participating in a peer-led application review process. The Planners4Health program is being administered by APA’s Planning and Community Health Center that is dedicated to integrating community health issues into local and regional planning practice by advancing research, outreach, education and policy.

Over the past two years through the Plan4Health program APA Chapters, American Public Health Association (APHA) Affiliates and local coalitions led efforts to improve community access to nutritious foods, provide greater opportunities for physical activity and offer choices on how residents move around. Some of the outcomes from Plan4Health include a permanent traffic-calming installation in St. Louis, Indianapolis adopting its first pedestrian plan, and a toolkit to improve access to healthy foods in Austin, Texas.

For more information about Planners4Health or Plan4Health, visit and follow the hashtag #Plan4Health.

The American Planning Association is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides leadership in the development of vital communities. APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the art, science and profession of good planning — physical, economic and social — so as to create communities that offer better choices for where and how people work and live. Members of APA help create communities of lasting value and encourage civic leaders, business interests and citizens to play a meaningful role in creating communities that enrich people’s lives. APA has offices in Washington, D.C., and Chicago. For more information, visit

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Roberta Rewers, APA, 312-786-6395;

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