Activate Allen County is a public health initiative committed to reducing obesity and smoking in Lima and Allen County by promoting healthy eating, active living and a tobacco free lifestyle.
In addition to educating and inspiring people to make healthy choices, Activate Allen County educates people about the relationship between policy, environment and community design to their health and well-being. Activate Allen County focuses on changes that remove barriers and increase access to healthy behaviors. Working in partnership with health initiatives across the County and State, Activate Allen County aims to provide everyone living in Allen County access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity in places that they live, work, worship, learn and play.
Initially established with a Pioneering Healthier Communities Grant from the YMCA of the USA funded through the Centers for Disease Control in 2011, the Lima Family YMCA began a collaborative partnership with community leaders to develop a community action plan to address healthy eating, active living and a tobacco free lifestyle as preventative measures to obesity and chronic disease.
In 2012, Activate Allen County was selected for a Small Communities Transformation Grant. Funded under the Affordable Care Act through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this $1.2 million grant made significant strides in promoting healthier lifestyles in Allen County.
In 2014, Activate Allen County was selected for the Partnerships to Improve Community Health grant awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Activate Allen County’s strategies continue to include increasing smoke free environments, providing evidence based education, enhancing primary care screening and treatment of tobacco use, increasing availability of tobacco cessation services, promotion of breastfeeding, increasing healthy food options at public venues, increasing access to fresh fruit and vegetables in food deserts, increasing physical activity among school children, increasing effectiveness of wellness policies in schools, increasing access to pre-diabetes interventions, and improving access to non-motorized transportation options.