Friday, February 20, 2015

City Passes Legislation to Incorporate Health Considerations Into Future Planning and Programs


The Richmond City Council has adopted two resolutions that will ensure the incorporation of health into future planning and programs. This legislation, unanimously adopted by City Council, serves to incorporate health considerations into decision-making processes across sectors that influence health.

The Health in All Policies (HiAP) and Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) Cities and Towns Resolutions are outgrowths of Mayor Dwight Jones’ Blue Ribbon Commission on Health Policy and fall under the auspices of the Mayor’s Healthy Richmond Campaign. The HiAP legislation calls for the City to incorporate “fair and just” principles into policymaking and to consider the health impacts of decisions made by all aspects of local government. A team of City departmental leaders will be formed to implement the HiAP framework across all departments, agencies, and offices, in order to promote health, and well-being and overall quality of life of all residents, regardless of whom they are or where they live.

“These are great additions to the things we are doing for our residents in conjunction with the Healthy Richmond Campaign,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones, who served as co-patron for both pieces of legislation. “Implementation of these policies will ensure sustained outcomes as we continue to address challenges and seek to improve health outcomes for all residents.”

 “I could not be more delighted about the adoption of the Health in All Policies Resolution,” said Council Vice President Chris Hilbert and co-patron of the HiAP Resolution. “Our residents will benefit tremendously from this process of incorporating considerations of health equity into all policy making decisions.”

The HEAL Cities and Towns Campaign champions local government policies that improve access to healthy foods and physical activity. The Campaign is one example of Health in all Policies, and offers a unique opportunity to incorporate healthy eating and active living policies into local projects and long-term planning processes.

“Through a variety of key collaborative initiatives, the 7th District strives to address the various health needs of our residents,” said Councilmember Cynthia Newbille, co-patron of the HEAL Resolution. “With the adoption of the HEAL Cities and Towns Resolution, we can continue to address such needs, not only in our district, but in every district across the city of Richmond.” 

The Institute for Public Health Innovation (IPHI), Virginia’s official public health institute and one of 44 members of the National Network of Public Health Institutes, provided technical assistance to Richmond City in the development and adoption of the HiAP and HEAL legislation. “What Richmond City has done is historic, as only a handful of localities across the country have passed HiAP legislation,” stated Dr. Michael Royster, Vice President of IPHI. “We are honored to assist the City, and we look forward to seeing the positive impact of the HiAP and HEAL legislation on all who live, work, learn, and plan in Richmond City.”