News & Progress
Hamilton County Public Health Achieves National Accreditation
March 2017—Hamilton County Public Health (HCPH) has achieved accreditation from the national Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) on March 14, 2017. HCPH joins the growing list of state, tribal, integrated, and local public health departments across the country to meet rigorous national standards for delivering quality programs and services. WeTHRIVE! is proud to be an initiative of HCPH! To learn more about public health accreditation, go to HCPH’s website to view the announcement.
City Officials Talk about Keeping Forest Park Healthy
January 2017—Waycross Community Media sat down with Forest Park’s Assistant Fire Chief, Jermaine Hill, and City Manager, Ray Hodges, to discuss all of the WeTHRIVE! health and safety initiatives occurring in the community. Check out the video to learn what’s going on and how you can get involved!
New WeTHRIVE! Ambassadors Named
January 2017— Six community members were recently trained as new WeTHRIVE! Ambassadors! These Ambassadors are leaders who volunteer their time and talents towards building healthy communities. Congratulations to Linda Childs-Jeter (Lincoln Heights), Tonya Key (Lincoln Heights), Dolores J. Lindsay (Lincoln Heights), Mohandas Nelliot (Mt. Healthy), Kyle Reiser (Mt. Adams), and Jeannie Stinson (Lincoln Heights). Visit the WeTHRIVE! Ambassador page to learn more about the program, requirements, and upcoming training dates!
Amberley Village Adopts Pedestrian Safety Resolution
December 2016— On December 16, 2016, Amberley Village passed resolution 2016-48, Declaring Support for Traffic Safety and Pedestrian Safety. The resolution was the product of two years of working to make Amberley Village a safer place for pedestrians and cyclists to travel. The resolution reflects changes in the culture of Village Council and Administration, Maintenance, and Public Safety departments where pedestrian needs are considered at all levels. The passage of the Resolution is significant in that it ensures that Council and the Village will continue to be cognizant of pedestrian safety issues into the future leading to continued improvements in this area. Congratulations to Amberley Village!
Chair Yoga Supports “Aging in Place”
December 2016— As part of the WeTHRIVE! Initiative, the City of Montgomery made a commitment to deliver programming that helps ensure that their older population is able to age in place. Part of this commitment was the implementation of a Chair Yoga class. Yoga is a practice that can be modified to support anyone at any stage of life. Chair Yoga is intended to make yoga accessible to participants with arthritis, injuries, or other movement limitations and challenges. Each participant has a chair to assist with balance for some simple standing poses. Participants also do many postures seated in the chair and spend plenty of time on breath work and guided relaxation. “This class has allowed our older adult population an opportunity to improve their movement, strength, and flexibility all of which help them to feel more comfortable with aging in place” said Sarah Fink, Recreation Specialist for the City of Montgomery.
WeTHRIVE! Communities and Champions Honored at Annual Recognition Event
December 2016—Thirteen Communities and 18 Community Champions were honored at the second annual WeTHRIVE! Community Recognition event on December 1, 2016 held at the Evendale Recreation Center. The following communities received “Year Two” recognition status: Amberley Village, Anderson Township, Colerain Township, Evendale, Forest Park, Lincoln Heights, Lockland, Montgomery, Mt. Healthy, North Bend, and Woodlawn. The two most recent WeTHRIVE! communities—Newtown and Whitewater Township—each achieved “Year One” recognition status. Learn more about the 2016 Community Champions!
Evendale Honors Former Teacher and Collects Charitable Resources
October 2016—Evendale Elementary hosted the “Tucker Tough Halloween Walk” on October 27, 2016 in honor of the physical education teacher, Mr. Tucker, who passed away last year. Students dressed in costumes and had a supervised walk throughout the school campus to promote physical activity and pedestrian safety, while also honoring their beloved teacher. Each student was asked to bring a canned good or $0.50 for the American Cancer Society. They successfully raised $536! Parents, teachers, staff, and residents were also present to show their support. This walk is part of the community’s ongoing efforts to educate students and the Evendale community on pedestrian safety as part of the larger Safe Routes to School initiative.
Lockland Hosts First Drug Take Back Event
October 2016— The Lockland WeTHRIVE! team, in partnership with PreventionFIRST! and the Lockland Church of the Nazarene, hosted a Drug Take Back event as part of the national Drug Take Back initiative through the Drug Enforcement Agency. Everyone who attended the event was grateful for a safe way to dispose of their medications. WeTHRIVE! team members handed out substance use prevention educational materials to all individuals who dropped off medications. In total, Lockland collected 19 pounds of unused and/or expired medications!
Woodlawn Walkers Participate in Walk to School Day
October 2016— The Village of Woodlawn hosted the second Walk to School Day for Woodlawn Elementary on October 5, 2016 as part of the new Woodlawn Walkers program. Woodlawn police, fire/EMS, parents, public works, crossing guards, recreation, and municipal staff, along with the Mayor and council members, were there to support and supervise the kids along the way. Before taking off, students received breakfast and a pep talk on the importance of healthy living. The Woodlawn Walkers program is a partnership between the recreation center and elementary school to encourage students to walk to school and track their mileage. This encourages physical activity and allows students to practice their math skills and learn about nature as they walk along the newly restored Mill Creek.
Lincoln Heights Mobile Pantry Distributes Thousands of Pounds of Produce
September 2016— Lincoln Heights’ Pantry Days is primarily run by the Valley Boosters, Ebenezer Church, St. Simon’s Church, and Mt. Moriah Church, alongside many volunteers who offer their gift of time. On a typical pantry day, the food truck—stocked only with fruits and vegetables—arrives at 7 am Volunteers unload the food truck and bag the produce. Distribution starts at 9am after a morning prayer. Bags are carried for those that may need a little extra assistance. Any leftover items are divided between various churches for their congregations. Any spoiled food is boxed and used for compost at the St. Simon’s Church garden. During the five Saturdays between August 1 and September 26, 2016, a total of 29,035 pounds in produce was distributed to the community!
Composting Demo Teaches Residents How to Reduce Waste
September 2016— The Amberley Village Environmental Stewardship Committee hosted a composting demonstration on September 28, 2016 in partnership with the Hamilton County Department of Environmental Services. Approximately 30 residents attended the seminar where they learned the basics of backyard composting. Specifically, participants learned how to balance a compost bin, determine what materials are compostable, as well as composting troubleshooting techniques. After the hour long demonstration, residents received a free kitchen collector, a "Simple Guide to Composting in Your Backyard" booklet, and an "I heart Compost" magnet.
HCPH Staff Become WeTHRIVE! Ambassadors
August 2016—Thirty-four Hamilton County Public Health staff from across the agency completed the WeTHRIVE! Ambassador training. These Ambassadors are frontline staff that is integral in recruiting communities, organizations, and individuals to join the movement towards creating a culture of health, safety, and vitality in Hamilton County.
Lactation Space Added to Support Breastfeeding Moms
August 2016—WeTHRIVE! Mt. Healthy set up a lactation room which is available for use by staff and residents who need a quiet place to nurse their baby or pump while visiting City Hall. The lactation room is equipped a glider/rocker, ottoman, privacy screen, coat rack/umbrella stand, tissues, hand sanitizer, privacy door hangers and some valuable information on the many benefits of breastfeeding. The lactation room is located by the elevator on the second floor of City Hall and is available during normal business hours, as well as during after hour meetings in Council Chambers.
New Class of WeTHRIVE! Ambassadors Graduate
July 2016—Six community members were recently trained as new WeTHRIVE! Ambassadors! These Ambassadors are leaders who volunteer their time and talents towards building healthy communities. Congratulations to Mimi Anderson (Mt. Healthy), Kathy Cushing (Sedamsville), Jermaine Hill (Forest Park), Ruby Kinsey-Mumphrey (Lincoln Heights), Karen Schwamberger (Anderson Township), and Geraldine Taylor (Lincoln Heights). Visit the WeTHRIVE! Ambassador page to learn more about the program, requirements, and upcoming training dates!
Woodlawn Offers Kids a Chance to Eat Healthy and Be Active
July 2016—This summer, about 100 children are attending the Village of Woodlawn’s summer camp each day at the recreation center. All campers receive a healthy breakfast and lunch, as well as lots of opportunities to be physically active. Camp staff teaches the kids how to read nutrition labels and provides education on healthy eating. During “Get Fit Week” (June 20—24), campers even took part in a boot camp taught by certified personal trainer Denise Bryers!
Boot Camp Saturday Gets Residents Sweatin’ in Forest Park
July 2016—Forest Park WeTHRIVE! is offering family-friendly Boot Camp Saturday fitness classes to residents of all ages and fitness levels. Classes are free and run on Saturday mornings from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. from June 11—August 13 at the Winton Woods Intermediate School. About 15-20 people attend the class and “get to sweatin’” each week on their quest to a healthier lifestyle! Boot camp is instructed by fitness trainer Michelle Sneed. It’s not too late to join the fun! Contact Assistant Fire Chief, Jermaine Hill, at (513) 595-5291 for additional information.
Evendale Adds Healthy Options to Pool Concession Stand
July 2016—At the start of the swim season, Village of Evendale pool patrons began noticing the growing number of healthier food options at the concession stand. Concession offerings were changed after speaking with many resident pool patrons during the off-season, who shared what items they would like to have available for themselves and their children. Simultaneously, Village of Evendale Recreation Department staff researched healthier product offerings of past and current vendors and attended product taste testing. Some of the changes to the pool concession stand include: (1) Bottled water was reduced from $1 to $0.50 to encourage water first for thirst; (2) soda bottles were replaced with cans to encourage less consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages; (3) a calorie menu was posted so patrons can make informed selections; and (4) new products were added like veggie burgers, apple sauce pouches, turkey dogs, yogurt, veggie straws, and Skinny Pop popcorn. The Village of Evendale uses the money generated at the pool concession stand as a fundraiser. In lieu of taste testing, recreation staff is reaching out to patrons to promote new product offerings and get immediate feedback. Initial data indicates that all of the early changes are resulting in favorable sales. Sales data will continue to be tracked, and a survey will be administered at the end of the season to get feedback and new ideas.
Policy Supports New Mothers’ Choice to Breastfeed
June 2016—Anderson Township Trustees passed a policy on May 19, 2016 to address the needs of township employees who are also nursing mothers. A designated lactation space will be created that is comfortable and easily accessible. The Anderson Township WeTHRIVE! team will use the employee policy as a basis to allow community members and visitors a private place to nurse their children or to express milk as needed while at the Anderson Center. Learn how you can offer breastfeeding-friendly spaces!
Lockland Church Becomes Referral Site for Job Training
June 2016— Reading-Lockland Presbyterian Church and Cincinnati Works have teamed up to make it easier for community members to get jobs. Cincinnati Works brings support to people living in poverty by offering job training, job coaching, and one-on-one mentoring. People can go to Reading-Lockland Presbyterian Church every Tuesday from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. to learn more about the program and get signed up. Bus tokens will be given to get people to the Cincinnati Works office in Roselawn for services. To learn more, contact Reading-Lockland Presbyterian Church at (513) 821-9002.
Family Trail Ride Draws Over a Hundred People
May 2016—Over a hundred people participated in the Family Trail Ride along the West Fork Mill Creek Greenway on May 7, 2016. The event was sponsored by Glenwood Gardens/Great Parks of Hamilton County, the Village of Woodlawn, Woodlawn WeTHRIVE!, and the City of Wyoming. The total ride distance from Glenwood Gardens in Woodlawn to the Wyoming Village Green and back along the trail is approximately five miles in length. The event included health and wellness information, booths featuring community partners, as well as a bike safety rodeo. Twelve bikes and helmets were awarded to third graders from Woodlawn Elementary. Interact for Health—a WeTHRIVE! partner—presented a check to the community for the Trails Planning Grant that was recently awarded to Great Parks of Hamilton County and the Village of Woodlawn.
WeTHRIVE! Honored with National Spotlight
April 2016— Active Living by Design's (ALBD) updated Community Action Model (CAM) has launched along with WeTHRIVE's story! ALBD hopes this tool can spark conversations, help leaders deepen their impact and grow the healthy communities field. Years ago, ALBD developed the initial CAM as an evidence-informed framework that helped communities and funders implement bold new approaches to create healthier policies and environments. After more than a decade of successful initiatives that deepened their understanding of the community change process, their team reflected on what they’ve learned and gathering community stories of successful change initiatives—all informing the updated CAM, which is now relevant for a variety of community health goals. We’re proud to be able to lift up all of the great work we’ve accomplished through WeTHRIVE! and are proud to have our story featured by ALBD!
Mt. Healthy Celebrates “WeTHRIVE!” Day with Community Event
April 2016—The City of Mt. Healthy hosted a community health and safety fair on April 16, 2016—WeTHRIVE! Day in Hamilton County—on the grounds of the municipal community center and community park. On a beautiful Saturday afternoon, the drill team performed, a local martial arts studio provided a demonstration, and a yoga class was held in the park. Community groups had tables set up with brochures and handouts, including the Mt. Healthy WeTHRIVE! team, Southwest Ohio Breastfeeding Coalition, the Ovarian Cancer Society of Greater Cincinnati, Walgreens, and What Do I Stand For. The Mt. Healthy Police and Fire Departments had their service vehicles onsite—including police cruisers and fire trucks—for kids to explore. Check out photos from the event courtesy of photographers Bill Rocklin and Fred Russell!
Over 32 Tons Recycled at One Stop Drop Event
April 2016—Amberley Village hosted its fourth annual One Stop Drop Recycling Event on April 10, 2016 to reduce the amount of waste that goes to the landfill. Over 640 vehicles passed through to drop off electronics, clothing, paper for shredding, art and office supplies, and much more! Early results show that nearly 66,000 pounds and 32.75 tons of recycled materials were collected. Be sure to check back on the Amberley Village WeTHRIVE! page for updated numbers once they are available!
Forest Park and Mt. Healthy Recipients of Thriving Communities Grant
March 2016—The City of Mt. Healthy and Forest Park each received Thriving Community grants from Interact for Health to support and enhance their WeTHRIVE! efforts. Grants were awarded for a three-year period. Each community will receive $15,000 the first year; with a potential for up to $10,000 the second year, and up to $7,500 the third year. Both communities will focus on encouraging residents to engage in active living. Visit the Interact for Health website to learn more about their grant programs.
Fourteen Become WeTHRIVE! Ambassadors
March 2016—Hamilton County Public Health relaunched the WeTHRIVE! Ambassador Program, a volunteer leadership program for community members (Ambassadors) who work locally to build healthy communities. Fourteen participants successfully completed training requirements needed to become WeTHRIVE! Ambassadors in their community. Visit the WeTHRIVE! Ambassador page to learn more about the program, requirements, and upcoming training dates
Lockland Receives Grant to Host Opioid Forum
February 2016—The Lockland WeTHRIVE! team received the Call to Action Community Forum: Promotion Prevention of the Opioid Epidemic mini grant from PreventionFIRST! The mini grant will be used to host a community forum that includes a panel of Greater Cincinnati leaders who will discuss four focuses of reducing the opioid epidemic—prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and supply reduction. The community forum will be held on April 21, 2016 from 6:30pm-8:30pm at the Lockland School Cafeteria. Check back soon for an update from the community forum!
Over $1.2 million of Funding Received in 2015 for WeTHRIVE! Projects
January 2016—Congratulations to all of the WeTHRIVE! communities that received over $1.2 million in grant funding and donations in 2015—including Arlington Heights, Colerain Township, Mt. Healthy, North Bend, Reading, Woodlawn, and Norwood (former WeTHRIVE! community). Funding and resources were awarded for trail resurfacing, safety improvements (sidewalks, lighting, traffic signals), bicycle helmets, water quality improvements, playground enhancements (benches, picnic tables, lighting), community education and awareness, and planning projects that align with the mission of WeTHRIVE!
Partners Gather to Hear National Expert Talk About Walkable Communities
January 2016—Approximately 50 participants from public health, planning, law enforcement, education, business, engineering, local government, and community residents came together to learn innovative ways to create walkable communities from national expert Mark Fenton on January 21, 2016 at the Anderson Center. The event was sponsored by Anderson Township WeTHRIVE! Team and Administration, Hamilton County Planning Partnership, Hamilton County Public Health, Interact for Health, and the American Planning Association—Cincinnati Section. The interactive workshop sparked lots of discussion about actionable ideas that communities and school can use to start promoting safe walking and bicycling. Prior to the presentation, a small group of individuals from planning and public health joined Mark Fenton for a windshield tour around portions of Anderson Township and surrounding communities. The tour explored transportation routes both designed for walkers/bicyclers, as well as routes designed strictly for cars. Throughout the windshield tour, the group learned how simple design changes can make significant impact on the safety and accessibility of the roadway. To learn more about staying safe while walking and bicycling, visit the Stay Safe page in our resource library.
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!