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Health Educ Behav. 2015 Apr;42(1 Suppl):106S-114S. doi: 10.1177/1090198115570047.

Everyone Swims: a community partnership and policy approach to address health disparities in drowning and obesity.

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Seattle Children's Hospital, Seattle, WA, USA
Seattle Children's Hospital, Seattle, WA, USA University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA Odessa Brown Children's Clinic, Seattle, WA, USA.
University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA Seattle Children's Research Institute, Seattle, WA, USA Harborview Pediatric Clinic, Seattle, WA, USA.
Seattle Children's Hospital, Seattle, WA, USA.
Environmental Health Services Division, Public Health, Seattle & King County, Seattle, WA, USA.


Well-known disparities exist in rates of obesity and drowning, two public health priorities. Addressing these disparities by increasing access to safe swimming and water recreation may yield benefits for both obesity and injury prevention. Everyone Swims, a community partnership, brought community health clinics and water recreation organizations together to improve policies and systems that facilitated learning to swim and access to swimming and water recreation for low-income, diverse communities. Based in King County, Washington, Everyone Swims launched with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant funding from 2010 to 2012. This partnership led to multiple improvements in policies and systems: higher numbers of clinics screening for swimming ability, referrals from clinics to pools, more scholarship accessibility, and expansion of special swim programs. In building partnerships between community health/public health and community recreation organizations to develop systems that address user needs in low-income and culturally diverse communities, Everyone Swims represents a promising model of a structured partnership for systems and policy change to promote health and physical activity.


community-based partnerships; disparities; drowning prevention; obesity prevention; swimming

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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