The Bristol Health Equity Zone (HEZ), a Bristol Parks and Recreation Initiative
What’s Happening Right Now?
The Bristol Health Equity Zone is now in its second year. In April, the Town was awarded a $321,225 grant through CDC to implement strategies included in the Year 1 Work Plan. We have also modified our organizational structure into Working Groups under the following topic areas:
• Food and Nutrition
• Physical Activity
• Substance Abuse Awareness and Prevention
• Personal Mental Health and Wellness
Currently, the Bristol Health Equity Zone is implementing several strategies from the Year 2 Work Plan, including biweekly Food on the Move events, Diabetes Prevention Programming, and Cooking Demonstrations with local chefs. For more information, please visit the Current/Upcoming Events page.
Complete Streets Public Workshop. Thanks to everyone who turned out Monday, November 28th for the follow-up ‘Bristol’s Walk and Bike Audits Meet Complete Streets’ Public Workshop. Again, in partnership with Grow Smart RI, and the addition of Roger Williams University students, the Workshop presented the findings of the Walk and Bike Audits conducted in October, offered a range of recommendations for pedestrian and bicycle improvements, and provided the community with an opportunity to weigh-in on the findings and recommendations. Mark Felag, P.E. and Managing Engineer, Division of Planning - Rhode Island Department of Transportation was also on-hand to speak to the components of the Transportation Improvement Program and field questions from the audience.
For more information on the Walk and Bike Audits, as well as the October 12th and November 28th Complete Streets Public Workshops, please visit the Resources page.
‘Building Community’ Celebration. Thanks to everyone who turned out Tuesday, December 13th for our ‘Building Community’ Celebration! Over 125 community members helped celebrate our accomplishments during Year 2 and our collaboration with Roger Williams University’s students and faculty. The Bristol HEZ Working Group Champions were on hand to discuss Year 2 strategy implementation, over 50 Roger Williams University students presented their poster projects, and the Bristol HEZ Steering Committee received input on our Year 3 grant application. Local decision makers in attendance included Bristol’s new Town Administrator – Steve Contente and Town Council members including Nathan Calouro, Ed Stuart and Mary Parella. Special recognition went to outgoing Town Administrator Tony Teixeira for his support throughout the HEZ initiative from its inception, and Chef/Manager – Common Pub and Grille, Courtney Poissant for her dedication and commitment towards the food and nutrition components of the HEZ initiative.
What is the Bristol Health Equity Zone (HEZ) Project?
The Bristol HEZ Project is a community-wide effort funded by the Rhode Island Department of Health to create innovative approaches that can reduce and manage chronic diseases, promote healthy lifestyles, assure healthy child development, and create environments where healthy choices are easier to make. Bristol HEZ brings together existing organizations, stakeholders, and partners that focus on the health and well-being of the community into a formal, sustainable collaborative. Bristol is fortunate to have the resources of numerous social services and community-based organizations. Currently, these groups are working independently in the areas of public education, social services, recreation, and nutrition without a combined strategy. Bristol HEZ brings them under one umbrella to accomplish more in the area of public health. The Bristol HEZ Collaborative works together to identify the health risks and needs of the Town and moves forward common objectives around health-promoting programs, services, and community design.
The Bristol Health Equity Zone is dedicated to fostering a community where all residents have equal access to opportunities that promote health and wellness.
The Bristol Health Equity Zone, supported through Bristol Parks and Recreation Department, is a catalyst for partnerships amongst the Town and its residents, business owners and social service agencies who share the common goal of working towards the promotion of equal access to healthy lifestyles throughout all stages of life, the reduction and management of health challenges, and a sustainable environment where healthy choices are commonplace.
This project was supported by the grant or cooperative agreement number DP005511, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the CDC, HEALTH, or Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).