Project updates, commentaries, events and news about health across the nation from the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps team.

Building Partnerships: How to Start the Conversation

Friday, April 26, 2013

You’ve seen the Rankings and identified some areas you’d like to improve. Now you may be wondering how you can change the culture of health in your community. Where do you begin?

One of the first steps is organizing a strong, effective team with the shared goal of improving local health.

The County Health Rankings show us that everyone has a role to play in improving the health of our communities—from businesses and healthcare providers to policy-makers and foundations. Working together can yield better, more lasting results than working alone.

The Active Living Task Force in Marquette County, Michigan, gathered over 20 community partners— including the health department, YMCA, and public university—to improve the health of their community.

I knew we needed to look for lots of community partners to collaborate on this. The issues are bigger than one agency can take care of.” - George Sedlacek, former Director of Community Health in Marquette, MI

Over the past 10 years, the task force has collaborated on numerous projects including: improving access to healthy foods with a Meals-on-Wheels program and community garden initiative, establishing more biking and walking paths to promote fitness, and building three school “hoop houses” to extend the vegetable growing season.

On our first “Partnerships” series webinar, we’ll break down the steps to help you build a diverse team, develop a common goal and purpose, evaluate your progress, and sustain your effort for the long run to make real change.

Jan O'Neill and Kate Konkle, Community Engagement Specialists for the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program, will host the webinar along with guests Jerry Shultz and Christina Holt from the Community Tool Box resource.