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Tarrant County Launches New Get Healthy Initiative

Tarrant County Public Health is launching a community-based program to make the county healthier. KERA’s BJ Austin reports.

The program is called MAPP -- or Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships.

The system of strategic planning was developed by the National Association of County and City Health Officials to bring resources and new ideas together to address the top, local public health priorities.

Dr. Eduardo Sanchez, the former Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, told the crowd at the kick off-meeting that “it’s not just about doctors writing prescriptions. It’s about creating an environment where being healthy is easier than not being healthy.

Sanchez says that includes elimination of so-called food deserts – areas without a grocery store, but plenty of fast food and convenience stores. And he called on employers to pay more attention to things that can create healthier workers, because they’re more productive workers.

Tarrant County Public Health officials say the MAPP process has produced good results in San Antonio. The volunteer steering committee for the new initiative will work on the vision for a health Tarrant County at its first meeting in two weeks.

Links: National Association of County and City Health Officials
              Tarrant County MAPP Website

Former KERA reporter BJ Austin spent more than 25 years in broadcast journalism, anchoring and reporting in Atlanta, New York, New Orleans and Dallas. Along the way, she covered Atlanta City Hall, the Georgia Legislature and the corruption trials of Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards.