News & Progress

Ambassador Program to Kick Off in February 2016

January 2016—The WeTHRIVE! Ambassador Program is a voluntary leadership program for community members who work locally to build healthy, safe communities. As an Ambassador, you’ll be making a difference in your own community while being part of a larger movement to make healthy living possible for everyone in Hamilton County. Learn more about the Ambassador Program and how you can register for upcoming orientation training

National Transportation Expert Coming to Hamilton County

December 2016—Mark Fenton, national public health, planning, and transportation expert will be providing workshop on January 21, 2016 in Anderson Township on how to create walkable communities. Visit the special events section to learn more about this upcoming free workshop!

WeTHRIVE! Communities Receive Year One Recognition Status

December 2015—Fourteen WeTHRIVE! Communities were honored at the 2015 WeTHRIVE! Community Recognition Event held at the Woodlawn Recreation Center on December 3, 2015. Year one recognition requirements included: (1) adoption of the WeTHRIVE! Overall Resolution, (2) establishing a WeTHRIVE! Team, (3) designating a team member to serve on the WeTHRIVE! Community Learning Collaborative, and (4) selecting at least one pathway to work through the process. Congratulations to the following communities for successfully documenting these requirements: Amberley Village, Anderson Township, Arlington Heights, Colerain Township, Evendale, Forest Park, Lincoln Heights, Lockland, Montgomery, Mt. Healthy, North Bend, Silverton, St. Bernard, and Woodlawn.

WeTHRIVE! Child Care Centers Receive State Recognition

December 2015—Congratulations to three of our WeTHRIVE! Child Care Centers—TriHealth Early Learning Center (Montgomery), Waverly’s Hope (Colerain), and Type B-Robyn Perkins (Winton Place) —for achieving the Ohio Healthy Program state designation! The Ohio Child Care and Resource Referral Association (OCCRRA) created the Ohio Healthy Program in response to the growing concern surrounding childhood obesity at both state and national levels. Steps toward this distinction include: attending training, implementing a wellness policy, improving menus, and engaging parents.

Update: Anderson Township

June 2015 – During the month of May, Anderson Township focused on walking and bicycle safety within the Township. On May 6, in partnership with two Elementary schools, Anderson Township participated in National Bike/Walk to School day. Wilson and Ayer Elementary schools encouraged students to walk or ride their bike to and from school. Many students participated in walking or bicycling to school. On May 30, the Township hosted a Bicycle Rodeo during the farmers market. The Bike Rodeo was put on with the support of many partners including Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Anderson Township Police and Fire Departments. Children participated in the bike rodeo to learn safety skills for when riding their bikes out in the community.

Update: Communities Adopt WeTHRIVE! Overall Resolutions

April 2015 – Nineteen Hamilton County communities have adopted the WeTHRIVE! Overall Resolution. Participating communities include: Addyston, Amberley Village, Anderson Township, Arlington Heights, Colerain Township, Crosby Township, Evendale, Fairfax, Forest Park, Lincoln Heights, Lockland, Montgomery, Mt. Healthy, North Bend, North College Hill, Reading, Saint Bernard, Silverton, and Woodlawn. Read more about how each community thrives!

Update: Child Care and After School Providers Adopt WeTHRIVE! Resolution

April 2015 – As of April 2015, 122 of Hamilton County’s child care centers and after school program providers have adopted the WeTHRIVE! Child Care or WeTHRIVE! After School Wellness Resolutions. Nearly 12,000 children now enjoy healthier food and beverage options and more opportunities for physical activity. Many are also tobacco-free campuses! Go here to find out more and to see the list of child care centers and after school programs in Hamilton County that are THRIVING!

Village of North Bend Receives Grant to Enhance Playground

March 2015 – The Village of North Bend was the recipient of an Interact for Health Grant. The funding will be used to complete the Presidential Community Playground located in the center of the historic village. The grant will be used to build a pavilion/shelter (24 feet by 24 feet) with electrical outlets and lighting on the interior. When finished in early June 2015, the pavilion will afford space for children and parents/guardians to congregate, away from the hot sun. It will also encourage opportunities for group fitness activities, which provides an outlet for adults to be active while children enjoy the playground. As such, the pavilion will be a multi-faceted shelter—giving protection from inclement weather—allowing families to have a reprieve from the confines of the home, and providing opportunities for residents to enjoy a spirit of community. Congratulations to North Bend! Go here to learn about North Bend’s WeTHRIVE! efforts.

Village of Evendale Receives Planning Award

March 2015 – The Village of Evendale was award the Frank F. Ferris II Planning Award from the Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission for their Evendale Bike and Pedestrian Plan. The planning award is awarded annually to a local planning commission or planning committee whose efforts have contributed to the elevation of planning principles, greater awareness of the value of planning and improved quality of life. Congratulations, Evendale!

Colerain Township Hosts Community Discussion on Opiate Use

February 2015 – The Colerain Township Community Health Awareness Team hosted “Addiction: Heroin and Panel Killers” panel discussion on February 25, 2015. Panelists discussed what is happening in Colerain related to opiate use; the faces of addiction; the stigma of addiction; and what has to change. Go here to watch the archived community discussion.

Communities Adopt WeTHRIVE! Overall Resolutions

August 2014– Twelve Hamilton County communities have adopted the WeTHRIVE! Overall Resolution, including: Anderson Township, Arlington Heights, Crosby Township, Evendale, Lincoln Heights, Lockland, Mt. Healthy, North Bend, Reading, Saint Bernard, Silverton, and Woodlawn. The WeTHRIVE! Overall Resolution solidifies the community’s commitment to achieving a healthy, thriving community. Read more about how each community thrives!

North Bend Opens New Park

July 2014– The Village of North Bend celebrated the grand opening of the Presidential Community Park on June 21, 2014. The new park, furnished with playground equipment, four square, picnic tables, and a basketball court, was a collaborative effort of many organizations and individuals. The City of Montgomery donated a playground structure to help make the new recreation space a reality in North Bend. Western Hills Lowe’s and Home Depot donated landscaping, picnic tables, and volunteers to assemble and paint the picnic tables, as well as other construction materials.Read more about the playground opening and other organizations that contributed to the effort!

WeTHRIVE! Awards Community Mini-Grants

Spring 2013—Hamilton County Public Health (HCPH) awarded WeTHRIVE! mini-grants to North Avondale, North Bend, and the Connecting Active Communities Coalition, which includes Blue Ash, Evendale, Glendale, Lockland, Montgomery, Reading, Sharonville, Woodlawn, and Wyoming. Mini-grant recipients receive technical assistance and funding as part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Healthy Kids Healthy Communities (HKHC) grant. HCPH is mentoring communities through the process of (1) establishing a wellness committee, (2) completing a community health assessment, (3) adopting a wellness resolution and (4) developing a health action plan that includes policy and environmental change strategies to will promote and sustain community health promotion initiatives. Go here o see what past WeTHRIVE! mini-grant communities have accomplished.

Child Care Centers Adopt WeTHRIVE! Resolution

The WeTHRIVE! Child Care Wellness Policy has been adopted by 103 child care centers located in Amberley Village, Anderson, Avondale, Blue Ash, Camp Washington, Cheviot, Clifton, Colerain, Corryville, Delhi, Finneytown, Forest Park, Greenhills, Harrison, Lincoln Heights, Lockland, Loveland, Lower Price Hill, Millvale, Montgomery, Mt. Airy, Mt. Healthy, Newtown, North College Hill, Northgate, Norwood, Oakley, Price Hill, Sharonville, Silverton, Symmes Township, Walnut Hills, West End, Westwood, Winton Hills and Woodlawn. As a result,nearly 10,650 children now enjoy healthier food and beverage options and more opportunities for physical activity.Go here o find out more and to see the list of child care centers in Hamilton County that are THRIVING!

First WeTHRIVE! photo contest winner announced

August 2013—Pamela Taylor is the winner of our first How WeTHRIVE! Photo Contest. For submitting the winning photo, she received a three-month YMCA membership. See Pamela's photo at right and watch for another contest coming soon. Details are on the WeTHRIVE! facebook page.

WeTHRIVE! Releases Reports

Hamilton County Public Health recently released two WeTHRIVE! reports. Find the WeTHRIVE! Annual Report here and the WeTHRIVE! Food Access Report here.

New community pathways in North College Hill

September 2012—North College Hill's WeTHRIVE! team identified three sidewalk routes that connect vital parts of the city, such as the elementary, middle and high schools, the City Center building and the business district. To encourage residents to walk to these places—where they would normally drive—the city used WeTHRIVE Community Wellness Mini-Grant funds to make improvements to 1700 square feet of sidewalks. Blue NCH MOVES! footprints mark the 1-, 2- and 3-mile pathways. Read more in NCH's blog post and on the NCH WeTHRIVE! page.

More opportunities to be active in Norwood

July 2012—Thanks to the Norwood WeTHRIVE! team, the city’s 19,000 residents now have more options for outdoor recreation. Xavier University has agreed to open its tennis, sand volleyball and basketball courts, sports fields and nature trail to residents. New red footprints painted along city sidewalks mark one-mile paths for walking. Gardeners are at work on the new community garden in Northwoods Park. And city parks have new playground quality mulch, making play equipment safer for active children. Find out more about how Norwood is thriving here.

WeTHRIVE! yard sign marks head of Amberley Trail in French Park

Amberley Trail Expands Village Hall Walking Track

June 2012—Thanks to the Amberley Village WeTHRIVE! team and youth volunteers from Amberley, Cincinnati and Israel, people using Amberley’s Village Hall paved walking path can now extend their walk into the woods of French Park. On June 22, volunteers built a small bridge in the park just off Ridge Road and across the street from Village Hall. The bridge takes you from a new trailhead onto the Amberley Trail in the park. Learn more about this and other projects completed by Amberley here.

WeTHRIVE! and the YMCA help 23,019 residents get active

In June 2010, WeTHRIVE! partnered with the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati to increase residents’ access to physical activity by offering low-cost YMCA memberships. Between June 2010 and February 2012, the YMCA issued 7,464 subsidized memberships, providing 23,019 community members with access to a safe place to exercise. One new member, a single mom with three children, described how being able to join the Y has impacted her life:“My stress level has decreased, my children are becoming more physically fit, and as a family, we are thriving… I am ever so grateful for my subsidized membership and will never forget the help which has been given to me."Download an application here.

Produce markets serve food desert communities

Eight Do Right! Produce Markets were established in five of Hamilton County’s lowest-income communities, reaching more than 80,000 residents. The sites include three Cincinnati Public Schools, three churches in predominantly African American neighborhoods and community locations in two of the poorest neighborhoods in greater Cincinnati. At the school sites, volunteers sell pre-filled bags of produce after school for $5 each to students, parents and residents. The church and community sites are set up as traditional farmers markets and stocked by a local produce distributor. See how the program worked at an elementary school in Avondale here. Click here for more information.

Creating Safe Routes to School

Many children who live close enough to walk to school are driven or ride the bus because parents worry that streets are not safe. To increase the number of students walking and biking to school throughout Hamilton County, WeTHRIVE! worked with six local school districts to implement Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs in predominantly underserved communities. Now walking and biking to school is a safe option for more than 26,000 students in 54 schools. Click here for information about getting your school involved.

Master Nutrition Volunteers move on to teach others

May 2012—Since spring 2011, 88 Master Nutrition Volunteers have graduated from the WeTHRIVE! Do Right! Healthy Eating Train the Trainer course, which is coordinated by the Center for Closing the Health Gap. All graduates successfully completed a 7-week series of classes that included hands-on sessions about nutrition, food safety, meal planning, food preparation and stretching the food dollar. Master Nutrition Volunteers have led 38 church-based nutrition workshops reaching more than 800 residents. Click here for more information. See photos here.

100+ Attend HBO Weight of the Nation Premiere

May 2012—On Wednesday, May 9, more than 100 people attended the WeTHRIVE!-sponsored local premiere of HBO’s The Weight of the Nation documentary series at the 20th Century Theatre in Cincinnati.Following the screening ofChildren in Crisis, the audience shared their reactions to the film and posed questions to a panel of community leaders. Panelists included Dr. Gary Pack (assistant superintendent, Princeton City Schools), Tim Ingram (Hamilton County health commissioner), Kiana Trabue (parent/community advocate) and Dr. Chris Boling (community pediatrician/childhood obesity expert). View photos of the event here. Join the conversation by posting a comment on our blog or on the WeTHRIVE! Facebook page. See promotional materials for the event here.

164 Attend Healthy Food Access Events

March 2012--More than 100 people attended the WeTHRIVE! Healthy Food, Healthy People Food Access Summit on Thursday, March 1, 2012. Sixty people gathered on Saturday morning, March 3, for the Food Access Community Conversation. Large and small group discussions focused on ways to increase healthy food access, particularly for Hamilton County communities that do not have full-service grocery stores. Experts presented on local food production, food distribution, healthy retail and community design and development. The presentations are available for download here. See photos of the 3/1 Summit and the 3/2 Community Conversation.

Communities pass WeTHRIVE! Wellness Resolution

Eleven communities are leading the way to making Hamilton County a healthier place to live, work and play. Addyston, Amberley Village, Avondale, Cheviot, Cleves, College Hill, Madisonville, North College Hill, Northside, Norwood and Wyoming have formally adopted the WeTHRIVE! Wellness Resolution. This commitment to increasing healthy eating and physical activity while decreasing exposure to second-hand smoke will make it easier for more than 97,000 residents to THRIVE! Click here to find out how your community can be a WeTHRIVE! Community, too.

Mini-grants help create WeTHRIVE! communities

In November 2011 and February 2012, WeTHRIVE! awarded community wellness mini-grants of up to $24,000 each to 12 Hamilton County communities.Grants were awarded to: Addyston, Amberley Village, Avondale Community Council, Cheviot,Cleves, College Hill Community Council, Madisonville Community Council, North College Hill, Northside Community Council, Norwood, Roselawn Community Council and Wyoming. Click here to read about what all of our WeTHRIVE! communities are doing to make Hamilton County a healthier place to live, work and play.

Churches adopt WeTHRIVE! Wellness Resolution

Thirty-five Hamilton County churches have adopted the WeTHRIVE! Faith-based Wellness Resolution or Pledge. These organizations show a commitment to the health of their congregations as well as the community where they are located.More than one-third of these churches are located in Avondale, one of Cincinnati’s poorest neighborhoods with a population at high risk for obesity and chronic disease.Most of the other churches are located in communities with high poverty rates and/or high minority populations, which put residents at high risk for obesity and chronic disease.Learn more about the WeTHRIVE! Faith-Based Initiative here.

36 learn the art of canning vegetables

Woman canning tomatoesOctober 2011—A total of 36 people attended one of the WeTHRIVE! Canning Workshops held on two Saturdays in October at New Vision United Methodist Church in Bond Hill. Participants spent a day in the kitchen learning how to can tomatoes and took home individual canning kits. Many said they intend to put their new skills to work with veggies from their home or church garden. The free hands-on workshops were coordinated by the Center for Closing the Health Gap (a WeTHRIVE! partner) and taught by Jenny Evans from Ohio State University Extension Service. See photos here.

Lincoln Heights WeTHRIVE! coalition, partners build playground

On October 29, 2011, 34 volunteers turned an empty space into a playground at Memorial Field in the Village of Lincoln Heights. The project is a result of people working together--Lincoln Heights WeTHRIVE! Consortium leaders Ruth Sanford, LaVerne Mitchell and John Key; Patrick Dunn of Playworld Midstate; Interim Village Manager Stephanie Dumas; and Josh Staggs and crew from Springdale Lowe’s. Country Fresh Produce, Wendy's (Lincoln Heights) and Speedway (Woodlawn) donated food for the volunteers. The playground includes a swing set, dome climber, slide, seesaw and tetherball. Memorial Field is located at 1100 Lindy Avenue. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Saturday, November 19, followed by a march to nearby Stuffie's Market. Stuffie's is Hamilton County's first WeTHRIVE! Healthy Corner Store. See photos from the playground build here. Find out more about how Lincoln Heights THRIVES.

exercise class with adults

200 get moving during Physical Fitness Week

WeTHRIVE! Move Right! Physical Fitness Week was held October 10-15, 2011. Two hundred people took part in free walks and exercise classes held at churches throughout Hamilton County. Read the related blog post here. Check out our facebook page for photos of each event. See more about how faith-based organizations are helping people stay active by clicking here.

150 volunteers honored at WeTHRIVE! Recognition Event

September 2011—The 3rd annual WeTHRIVE! Recognition Event for the communities of Lincoln Heights, Lockland and Woodlawn was held on September 13, 2011. The evening included an inspiring keynote presentation by Bill Grace from Common Good Works and a delicious, healthy dinner prepared by Lincoln Heights Missionary Baptist Church. Over 150 members of WeTHRIVE! Community Consortia were honored for their dedication and hard work. Read the related blog post here. See photos from the event on our facebook page and watch a video highlights here.

Lockland WeTHRIVE! coalition unveils new super park

September 2011—Thanks to the Lockland WeTHRIVE! Community Consortia, Gardner Park is now a super park! It has new outdoor fitness equipment, a Frisbee golf course and a skate park. The Village of  Lockland also improved the park’s baseball and soccer fields and the playground area. The skate park was built by approximately 150 volunteer hours from community members, youth and the Lockland Service Department. Residents of all ages from Lockland (pop. 3,700) and surrounding communities can come to Gardner Park for physical activity. The park is located at the corner of Westview Ave. and Bacon St. See photos of the super park’s kick-off here. Read more about Lockland and WeTHRIVE! here.

Kids get hands dirty at WeTHRIVE! cooking & gardening classes

teens watch chef at cooking demonstrationSeptember 2011—This past summer, 27 children and teens attended a series of four WeTHRIVE! Do Right! Teen Cooking & Garden Classes, held at Southern Baptist Church in Avondale. The kids cooked, worked in the vegetable garden, and participated in interactive sessions on portion sizes, fast food, MyPlate, food labels, sugar-sweetened beverages and more. Do Right! classes are run by The Center for Closing the Health Gap, a WeTHRIVE! partner. See more photos on our Facebook page.

Physicians get Onboard with WeTHRIVE!

Twenty-two physician groups have joined the WeTHRIVE! Hamilton County Obesity Learning Collaborative. Developed by WeTHRIVE! partner Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, this program helps pediatricians implement proven strategies for obesity screening, assessment and management. So far, the Collaborative has the potential to reach more than 75,000 Hamilton County children yearly. Find more information and a list of participating physician groups here.

300 attend WeTHRIVE! Community Event promoting healthy food access for all.

Growing Healthy Kids & Families: Come Taste & See, held on June 25, 2011, was a huge success.
We signed 258 people up to join the movement! Twenty-five residents showed their support of WeTHRIVE! by volunteering their time and hard work tomake this event happen. See photos and read more about the event on our blog. Watch a video here.

Community gardens grow access to healthy food.

September 2012Since 2009, WeTHRIVE! has helped build 35 community, church and school gardens in Hamilton County. The gardens are located in 18 communities, reaching more than 169,000 residents, of whom 18.6% live below the poverty level. Residents get free space to grow their own fruits and vegetables and extra harvest is donated to those in need. Training for 20 church gardens was provided by Ohio State University Extension. See WeTHRIVE! gardens up close here. Read more about our community gardens here.

Healthy corner stores bring fresh produce to food deserts.

September 2012—To increase the availability of healthy foods in underserved communities, WeTHRIVE! encourages neighborhood corner store owners to offer fresh produce for sale. Five corner stores in Avondale, Lincoln Heights and Lockland began selling fresh produce in communities without a supermarket. One has since moved from Lincoln Heights to Mt. Healthy. See a video clip here and find more information here.

11 school districts are early adopters of nutrition.

WeTHRIVE! and the Nutrition Council helped 11 school districts adopt nutrition guidelines for food and beverages sold in vending machines, a la carte lines and school stores, making it easier for 61,000 students in Hamilton County to make the healthy choice when they are at school. These districts are: Cincinnati, Deer Park, Finneytown, Lockland, Loveland, Madeira, Princeton, Reading, Sycamore, Southwest and Three Rivers. All Ohio school districts were required to adopt the new standards by July 2011.Click here or more information about WeTHRIVE! in Schools!

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February 27, 2015