Community Stories

Health improvement efforts from around the country

filtered by "Act on What's Important"

42 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.

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.

Never Giving Up: Addressing Drug Addiction in Scott County, Indiana

What would you do if the county you’d lived in and loved for many decades was ranked the least healthy county in your state for three years running? What if just days after this year’s Rankings release Reuter News Service began investigating why your county has the highest rate of prescription drug deaths in a six county area? This is the situation faced by the people of Scott County, Indiana. It would be understandable if their response was to give up in frustration, but that’s far from the reality.

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.

In San Bernardino, CA, County Health Department Takes Lead to Improve Area’s Poor Health Ranking

The 2011 County Health Rankings ranked San Bernardino County—which spans more than 20,000 square miles and a population of more than 2 million—50th out of 56 California counties in health factors like physical environment, social and economic factors, health behaviors and clinical care. The city of San Bernardino alone faces significant public health challenges, with a lower life expectancy, a higher homicide rate, and fewer parks and healthy food options than the rest of the state.

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.

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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