Community Stories

Health improvement efforts from around the country

filtered by "Program", "Public Health", and "Community Members"

10 results

Creating Healthier Environments for Everyone: Minneapolis, MN

Despite what you might expect with the climate, any annual list of “most bikeable” cities is going to have Minneapolis, MN, near the top. As the county seat of Hennepin County, which ranked 52 out of 84 counties in Minnesota in the 2012 County Health Rankings , Minneapolis is intentionally designed with bikeways and paths to encourage active transportation, including biking and walking.

Partnerships to Tackle Pressing Health Problems: Fall River, MA

Nestled along the eastern shore of Mount Hope Bay in Bristol County, Fall River, MA, was a mill town for about 150 years. As recently as half a century ago, families who called it home knew the mills would provide steady employment. That changed when the economy changed, and many of the biggest mills closed down. Today about a quarter of residents live in poverty and the unemployment rate is around 9 percent.

A Tale of Two Cities: Cambridge, MA

Best known for its world-renowned universities, Cambridge, MA, is also a city that faces challenges like obesity and school readiness. Located in Middlesex County, which ranked third out of 14 counties in Massachusetts in the 2012 County Health Rankings , Cambridge is a diverse community committed to working together to improve the health and well-being of all residents, of whom a quarter are foreign-born, a third are non-white, and 15 percent live in poverty.

Working Together Creatively to Make the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice

Twenty years ago George Sedlacek, the Director of Community Health in Marquette County, MI, was lambasted in the local news as a “health Nazi.” Now retired but still active as a community leader, he’s being hailed as a “health hero.” What accounts for the transformation? Sedlacek will tell you he didn’t change; the community’s culture changed.

Rockingham County, North Carolina Establishes Task Force to Identify the Root Causes of Its Poor Health Rankings, Develops Recommendations

Rockingham County, dubbed as North Carolina’s North Star, is nestled at the tip of the Northern Piedmont Triad region and cradled by the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Though Rockingham County is mostly rural (county size – 572 square miles with a population of approximately 93,063), its communities still offer small-town living balanced with 21st century amenities.

Getting People Moving in Lincoln County, West Virginia

At Center Point United Baptist Church in Lincoln County, West Virginia, 18 parishioners are feeling lighter than they did 11 weeks ago — 250 pounds lighter, to be exact. And it’s thanks, in part, to the 2010 County Health Rankings . The weight-loss group, the brainchild of the church’s associate pastor Jason Cook, is just one example of the small-scale health-improvement efforts taking place in the community in the wake of the rankings.

Part II: Collaborating to Improve Health Behaviors in Genesee County, Michigan

In an April 2011 Rankings in Action webinar , Kirk Smith, president and CEO of the Greater Flint Health Coalition (GFHC) commented that the 2011 County Health Rankings were "...a good tool to wake people up.” Ranked 78th out of 82 Michigan counties for health outcomes and last for health behaviors, Genesee County leaders appreciated the wake up call to create a County Health Rankings action plan.

Improving the Health and Well-Being of Southeast Kansas

Nearly 180,000 people live in the nine counties of Southeast Kansas (SEK) region including Allen, Bourbon, Cherokee, Crawford, Labette, Montgomery, Neosho, Wilson, and Woodson Counties. People choose SEK as their home because of the quality of life that comes from living in small towns, the strong sense of community, and the overall natural beauty. Despite the overall quality of life in SEK, the 2009 Kansas County Health Rankings released by the Kansas Health Institute, illustrated that this nine county region in southeastern Kansas was the least healthy region in th

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