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WHO healthy cities and the US family support movements: a marriage made in heaven or estranged bed fellows?
Health Promotion International. 1996; 11(2):137-142.The family support movement in the US emerged at about the same time that the WHO Healthy Cities project was gaining momentum in Europe, and the underlying principles and ecologic frameworks of the two have much in common. However, while many 'Healthy Cities' in Europe have included activities that benefit families, this has not been made a major focus. There seems to be little awareness of experience gained in the US in terms of establishing programs with limited or no government funding, using volunteers, and developing social marketing and advocacy strategies sustain long term viability. Similarly, cities and states in the US are struggling to develop networks of family support programs and they appear to be doing this without the benefit of experience gained in Healthy Cities projects on how to engage political leadership, develop public policies, establish intersectoral councils, fund a coordinator position, mobilize neighborhoods, and evaluate community wide health promotion programs. The purpose of this paper is to examine how these two movements might join forces and learn from each other. (author's)