Clinton County Health Department’s work focused on the development of healthy beverage practices which were the result of many foundational meetings and educational sessions with business executives, Board of Health and Legislative committees, and worksites. Other work involved developing newspaper articles, dissemination of a print and radio campaign, dissemination of educational materials and making educational presentations.
“This project increased awareness about the changes that our department is trying to make. It allowed our partners to see the benefits of making small and simple changes to help support employee health and wellness. An ad campaign based on the New York City Department of Health “Pouring on the Pounds” campaign led to several surprised responses about the information provided, with a few people noting the changes they made in their personal diets. By working with local businesses, our department was able to promote public health initiatives in the community.”
Clinton County Department of Health
THE CLINTON COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT EXPERIENCE
What They Did
- The county promoted educational events at worksites through mass emails and informational flyers.
- Educational materials and non-SSB giveaways were provided at these events.
- The county educated the legislature, Board of Health and County Deputy Administrator via educational presentations at meetings.
- The county used an independent contractor and an AmeriCorps volunteer to assist with project work.
- The county used the NYSACHO cutyoursugar website extensively in their work – specifically the resources and toolkits posted on the site.
- 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 adopted by the local TV station, the city recreational department, wellness center, worksites and the county government center.
- The county ran a successful media campaign with both print and radio messages.
- Promotional events at worksites were very successful – elements included presentations, dissemination of informational packets and beverage taste tests.
- A print outreach and promotional campaign was conducted including articles that were published in the local newspaper.
- Worksite wellness trainings were conducted in collaboration with partner organizations.
- County Government Center, Local TV station, Parks and Recreation Department, Wellness Centers, County Board of Health, Community organizations, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Best Practices and Lessons
- At initial meetings with partners, provide samples of existing practices.
- Propose simple procedural changes that can be made. For example, healthy meeting guidelines, changing the contents of vending machines.
- Educate vending companies about SSBs by providing facts, data and trends of SSB consumption and obesity, and also provide information on benefits of providing healthy beverages from a business financial standpoint, (e.g. Water and seltzer sell).
- Use your partner network to get the word out and promote messages.
- Provide information and toolkits to worksites to help with sustainability of the project.
- Replicate and adapt an existing successful model (NYC’s ‘Pouring on the Pounds’ campaign).
- Vending machine changes affected approximately 4,937 employees and visitors.
- Media and outreach campaign implemented during the holiday season affected all county residents.
- The county will continue to hold promotional events with interested businesses.
- The county will continue to make educational presentations to maintain worksites’ interest in making healthy beverages available.
- There is only one vending company in the county. In the beginning, the company was not amenable to changes proposed for the most part. One business canceled its contract and installed its own vending machines. Another business dropped out of the project. Although the project was ultimately successful with most of the businesses, it would have proceeded more smoothly if the vending company had been on board with the changes. To overcome this barrier, the county suggests educating vending companies on the financial benefits of increasing availability of non-SSBs in vending machines.
Contact: Jerie Reid, Director of Public Health, Clinton County Health Department, 133 Margaret St. Plattsburgh, NY. 12901. Phone: 518-565 4840 Email: [email protected]