S2AY’s work focused on setting up meetings and conducting presentations with county legislators of the four involved counties (Yates, Schuyler, Steuben and Wayne). This helped S2AY determine the best strategies to use and the best approaches most likely to be implemented at each county, municipality and worksite, based on their stage of “readiness” and perceived likelihood of success in practice development and implementation. S2AY also worked towards providing promotional materials to entities for distribution and conducted promotional activities.

THE S2AY RURAL HEALTH NETWORK EXPERIENCE

Significant Process Elements

  • S2AY educated health and human service legislative committees of all four county governments via in-person educational presentations.
  • Educational presentations were also made to more than 50 municipalities and about 50 worksites in the four county areas.
  • Announcement letters introducing the project were mailed to city, town and village mayors and supervisors, and were followed up with in-person visits.
  • Consistent promotion of educational materials took place at worksite ‘Lunch and Learn’ sessions.
  • S2AY educated worksites who were hesitant to make healthy beverages available because of fear of impacting their revenues.
  • S2AY used the NYSACHO cutyoursugar website extensively in their work.
  • Pre and post assessments of county vending machines were conducted to document changes in the placement and availability of non-SSBs. Click here to see Sample Assessment Tool

Outcomes and Successes

  • Practices were developed and implemented by county governments and multiple worksites.
  • Vending machine changes took place For example, changes were made to increase healthy beverage availability. In some cases complete removal of vending machines from sites took place.

Valuable Partnerships

  • County Health Departments, Cities, Towns, Municipalities, Hospitals, Department of Child and Family Resources, Non-profit and for profit organizations, Catholic Charities, Child Care Centers, Parks and Recreation Department

Best Practices and Lessons

  • Collaborate with vending companies early on in the project.
  • Bring employee unions on board.
  • Involve the county purchasing departments in all decision making processes.
  • Meet with vending company representatives and worksites at the same time so everyone is on the same page.
  • Require worksites to conduct on-going monitoring of vending machines to evaluate and monitor non-SSBs availability and placement in the machines.
  • Focus on making small positive environmental changes when worksites do not want to develop formal written policies (for example, develop healthy meeting guidelines, change the contents of vending machines).
  • Replicate and adapt an existing successful model (NYC’s ‘Pouring on the Pounds’ campaign).
  • Educate worksites on the financial benefits of making healthy beverages available to employees.

Reach

  • Vending machine changes affected approximately 1,105 employees and visitors.

On-going commitment

  • S2AY will work on getting other counties in their network to develop and adopt policies to increase availability of healthy beverages.

Challenges

  • In some instances, worksites felt ‘burdened’ by the additional workload of changing the existing beverage climate.
  • Some worksites were resistant to changing the beverage climate because of perceptions of possible revenue loss. S2AY remedied this by educating the worksites on the financial benefits of making healthy beverages available to their employees.

 

Contact: Andrea Haradon, S2AY Network Coordinator, PO Box 97, Corning, NY 14830 Phone: 607-962-8459. Email: grantstogo@stny.rr.com

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