Community Stories

Health improvement efforts from around the country

PedNet Coalition Works to Improve Health Through Better Public Transit

Home to the University of Missouri, Columbia is considered one of the state’s most livable cities, with a number of educational, economic and cultural opportunities available. It is also the seat of Boone County, which ranked well according to the 2011 County Health Rankings —10th out of 114 counties in Missouri for health outcomes and 2nd 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.

Addressing High Rates of Obesity in Muscatine County, Iowa

Every five years, all counties in Iowa are required to perform a health needs assessment, then submit a detailed health improvement plan to the state department of public health. This year, health officials in Muscatine County were excited to have a new set of data to incorporate into their planning — the detailed information from the 2010 County Health 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.

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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