This issue explores collaborations to improve the health of communities across the state, which are paramount to a healthy population, workforce, and economy. The policy forum includes articles highlighting various state departments' visions for healthy communities, as well as articles on planning, health impact assessments, local food systems, and efforts to strengthen the built environment. Original research includes an evaluation of the North Carolina Violent Death Reporting System and Medicaid coverage cost for the uninsured. A farewell and welcome to NCMJ editors in chief and a perspective on the challenge for health policy are also included.
Shape Your World
Shape Your World (SYW) is a statewide movement of North Carolinians who are committed to creating safer, healthier, and more connected communities to support physically active lifestyles. SYW mobilizes people across the state to get more involved by asking them to see their community in a new way, to connect with the issue by understanding the benefits that an active living environment can bring to them, and to act to shape the built environment in their community. SYW encourages people to think about how their communities are designed and to realize that they have a voice in how the community gets built, developed, or changed.
The SYW Web site (http://www.ShapeYourWorldNC.com) contains a wealth of resources that help community members learn about the built environment and learn how they can become engaged in creating the changes they want to see happen. The Web site contains many resources to help community members better understand and become engaged in shaping the active living environment in their community, including the following: a walkability and bikeability checklist; success stories of people across the state who are making changes in their community; a visualization tool that that allows the user to upload pictures and add elements to a space, such as bike racks, lights, or a playground, to see what various changes might look like; and a search tool to help community members find county commissioners, local planners, and parks and recreation departments.
Potential conflicts of interest. All authors have no relevant conflicts of interest.
Cathy Thomas, MAEd, CHES head, Physical Activity and Nutrition Branch, North Carolina Division of Public Health, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Raleigh, North Carolina.
Lori K. Rhew, MA, PAPHS manager, Physical Activity Unit, Physical Activity and Nutrition Branch, North Carolina Division of Public Heath, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Raleigh, North Carolina.
Ruth Petersen, MD section chief, Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention, North Carolina Division of Public Heath, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Raleigh, North Carolina.
Address correspondence to Ms. Cathy Thomas, Physical Activity and Nutrition Branch, NC Department of Health and Human Services, 5505 Six Forks Rd, Raleigh NC 27699 (Cathy.Thomas@dhhs.nc.gov).