Improved Health


With the direct engagement and input from those whose health we wish to support and improve, our Healthy Community initiative aims to transform communities into supportive environments that enable people to live healthier lives.

Healthy Community initiative began with our grantees facilitating a process that identified one or two health issues that affect their community and involved stakeholders from many sectors (health-related, housing, transportation, economic and community development, municipal government, etc.). The process requires the meaningful engagement of populations that are often marginalized and ensure they are involved in shaping the project from start to finish.  Over the next three years (2017-2019) grantee communities will implement plans to address priority health issues that take into account the social, economic, and environmental factors that contribute to how healthy people can be.

Since 2013 our Healthy Community Initiative has included the following:

  • Grants:  In 2013 twenty Healthy Community “pre-planning” grants to communities around the state to enable them to 1) engage a diverse, multi-sector group of stakeholders in conversations about the health of people in their community, and then 2) identify key health issues and strategies to improve health.
    Sixteen Healthy Community grantees were awarded planning grants in 2015 to 1) align programs and services of multiple partners to address their chosen health issue(s), 2) develop goals and strategies that draw upon community strengths, 3) identify indicators and measures to track their work and 4) create implementation plans.
    A competitive request for proposals took place in the fall of 2016 and three-year grants were made to support implementation and evaluation activities in 11 communities.
  • Technical assistance and support for grantees:  Healthy Communities grantees participate in regular learning communities that feature local and national experts, network development and peer-to-peer sharing.
  • Sharing what we’re learning with others:  Find video interview clips, case studies, presentations, and research related to Healthy Communities in our Learning & Resources section.
  • Promoting policy development:  As the Healthy Community program progresses, we will work with the grantees to identify policy opportunities that can promote and sustain the changes grantees are driving in their communities.
  • Evaluation: Beginning with a developmental evaluation approach, we are discovering and sharing valuable new information about how best to support and improve community health. Grantees will have access to Community Health Indicators: A User’s Guide for community members to use as they make plans to improve health, and as they measure changes over time.

For more information, contact Program Officer Charles Dwyer.


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