Community Stories

Health improvement efforts from around the country

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Fostering a Culture of Health and Wellness in Hernando, Miss.

The 2011 County Health Rankings classified Desoto County as the healthiest county in Mississippi for health outcomes and the fifth-healthiest county for health factors, with lower unemployment rates, higher education rates and greater access to healthy food compared to the rest of the state.

Detroit, MI: Joy-Southfield Neighborhood Unites to Tackle Chronic Disease, Poverty and Other Barriers to Health

Detroit, MI, is one of the most racially segregated cities in the country, with high crime, poverty and unemployment; poor public transportation; and vast food deserts that prevent residents from easily accessing healthy foods. In 2011, the County Health Rankings ranked Wayne County—where Detroit is located—81 out of 82 counties in Michigan for health outcomes and dead last for health factors.

Nashville Eyes Economic Benefits of Healthy Communities

In Davidson County, Mayor Karl Dean and public health officials are moving forward to make Nashville a healthier, more livable city by improving opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity. Initiatives have ranged from transforming food options in schools and child care centers, to investing in sidewalks, parks, greenways, and a bike share program. A workplace wellness challenge is next on the list, along with expanding efforts to get healthy, fresh foods into neighborhood corner stores in Nashville’s food deserts.

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.

Fostering Wellness Among Youth in Madison County, Tennessee

When the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce first decided to get involved with improving health and wellness in Madison County, Tennessee, officials weren’t sure where to begin or how to determine which issues to tackle. But when chamber president Kyle Spurgeon saw the 2010 County Health Rankings , he saw that the area’s health conditions could be directly tied in to its economic prowess.

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.

Learn From Other Communities in Action

See how communities are using policies, programs, and system changes to create healthier places to live, learn, work, and play.

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