Community Stories

Health improvement efforts from around the country

PART II: Holmes County, Mississippi’s Ambassadors for Health

As Margaret Mead famously said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” The Greenwood District United Methodist Church Health Alliance (GDUMCHA—or “HA” for...

PART I: Empowering the Grassroots in Holmes County, MS

When Dr. Detra Bishop, Pastor, pulled into the John Wesley United Methodist Church parking lot in the middle of the week she couldn’t believe her eyes: it was packed. Inside she found elderly church goers having their blood pressure taken at health...

Building a Business Case for Better Health: Allen County, OH

In Lima, OH, located in Allen County, community leaders are discovering the economic benefits of building a healthy, attractive community for residents to live, learn, work and play. In the 2012 County Health Rankings, Allen County ranked 75 out of...

Innovation Driven by Data: Santa Cruz, CA

In the southern end of California’s Santa Cruz County—a mostly wealthy county that ranked 10 out of 56 counties in California in the 2012 County Health Rankings —are the fields that produce food eaten at dinner tables and restaurants around the country. But the men and women who work those fields don’t often get to enjoy the fruits (or vegetables) of their labor.

Rebuilding for Health: New Orleans, LA

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, a cross-sector partnership between schools, businesses, nonprofit organizations, city government and the local health department in New Orleans, LA, has made public health and prevention a major component of the ongoing recovery effort.

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.

Empowering People and Inspiring Change: Manistique, MI

In just the last four years, Manistique, MI, has made great progress toward improving the health of its 4,000 residents, with a targeted focus on increasing access to physical activity and healthier foods. The bulk of this effort was initially funded through a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) grant to the Sault (pronounced Sioux) tribe, who have members living on a reservation in the area, as well as integrated within the greater community.

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.

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.

Read More