The original iteration of Plan4Health was a three-year project designed to strengthen the connection between the planning and public health professions. Anchored by members of the American Planning Association (APA) and the American Public Health Association (APHA), Plan4Health supports creative partnerships to build sustainable, cross-sector coalitions.
Coalitions worked with communities to increase access to healthy food or increase opportunities for active living where residents live, work, and play. The Plan4Health project aimed to build local capacity to address population health goals and promote the inclusion of health in non-traditional sectors.
Coalitions were made up of APA chapters, APHA affiliates, local non-profits, schools, parks and recreation departments, universities – and more. These coalitions worked in partnership to launch and to strengthen strategies for healthy planning.
Plan4Health became “Planners4Health” in 2016 when the final round of funding opportunities was provided directly to the APA State Chapters. APA-TX chose to partner with the small community of Canton, Texas, located in Van Zandt County in East Texas, for the final round of the project. Canton has experienced the touchdown of 7 tornadoes in one evening in April of 2017 and requested assistance in rebuilding that community with the Social Determinants of Health in mind. Even though that project and the original funding for Plan4Health ended in 2017, the work of Plan4Health Texas has not stopped. The current iteration of the Plan4Health project is funded by the Obesity Prevention Program in the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). The mandate of the project is to “connect people to everyday destinations”. This is being accomplished by convening interdisciplinary coalitions in cities across Texas who have a desire to create more mobile communities that are less reliant on motor vehicle transportation.