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Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Program (NUPAO)

AZ Healthy Communities

Making the healthy choice the easy choice.

Where you live impacts your health, and Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) has recognized this connection. Working collaboratively with outside agencies, ADHS plans to help foster environments that support healthy behavior, such as biking and walking.

The purpose of AZ Healthy Communities is to link and support Arizona communities that are using, or are interested in using, collaborative approaches to healthy community planning and the promotion of healthy lifestyles. AZ Healthy Communities strives to increase neighborhoods that promote healthier lifestyles, increase evidence on the effectiveness of innovative healthy community planning, and decrease health and social inequities by focusing on the influence of where we live.

Arizona Examples

Arizona is already doing outstanding work to help create communities that improve health! Here are just a few examples of the work being done around the state.

  • Tempe Streetcar Project
    ADHS in partnership with Maricopa Department of Public Health established the Health in Policy and Practice Advisory Group, representing Livable Communities Coalition, Arizona Department of Transportation, Arizona State University and the Arizona Chapter of American Planning Association, to complete the first Health Impact Assessment (HIA) in Arizona. The group prepared a HIA to recommend strategies to ensure health equity in the community surrounding the alignment of the Tempe Modern Street Car. Health risks that were assessed include air pollution, physical activity, safety and injury prevention, accessibility to resources, neighborhood environment, and livelihood.
  • Maricopa County Sodium and Nutrition Standards Procurement Policy AssessmentPDF
    The purpose of the Procurement Policy Assessment was to identify feasible methods to reduce health impacts from sodium consumption, from food served by Maricopa County. ADHS and CDC funded the study. While the study had multiple stages, the third, and final stage of the study was to focus on the health impact analysis of policy strategies that address nutrition standards and food procurement. The health outcomes measured were estimated blood pressures and hypertension prevalence as a result of policies that increase the availability of healthy food options.
  • Sycamore Light Rail Station HIAPDF
    This HIA examined the Sycamore Light Rail Station Study Area (SSA), a two square mile inner-urban area surrounding the Sycamore light rail station. The HIA analyzes existing conditions of SSA's economy, lifestyle and transportation, and how these conditions impact health. Through the collaboration from Local Initiatives Supportive Corporation, City of Mesa and the hard work of Arizona State University graduate students, the Sycamore HIA is a valuable tool for the city of Mesa to consider health in future urban planning and transportation projects.