Getting Ready to Make Lasting Change

How do I get started making change in my community?

The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps model helps you think about the many factors that influence health.

There are lots of ways to make change in your community, and there's not one single path to getting there. However, we have compiled some of our favorite resources that can help you get started and feel confident that you’ve taken the foundational steps to make lasting changes that impact those around you.

Figure out what kind of change you want to make to improve health and equity.

The County Health Rankings and Roadmaps believes that it's vital to understand:

  • The many factors that influence health and how those factors are at play in your community generally.
  • Those factors may impact different groups in a variety of ways. Knowing this can help you identify what to focus on and how to best contribute to your community's health improvement. 

Get the whole community involved.

Community change requires community input and action.

  • Explore the Partnering with Residents Action Learning Guide to to learn more about why it’s important to partner with community members and find tips and ideas for how you can bring people to the table (or join other tables).
  • Take time to connect with residents to establish trust and build authentic relationships.
    • Use the Mementos tool from the Center for Creative Leadership as a way to learn more about each other's experiences and values. 
  • It’s important not just to bring folks to the table, but to make space for them to share their experiences and their needs so that everyone is on the same page and working towards addressing the issues that matter most.
    • Public forums are a great place for all residents to share their experiences. Check out the Public Forums and Listening Sessions tool from  Community Tool Box to start planning for them. 

Focus and move to action. 

Once you know what you want to focus on - from the data and from the people living in your community - it’s time to take action.

Find more guidance across the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps.

  • Explore the Action Center to find even more tools and activities that can help you dig deeper into the process of taking action and creating change.
  • Investigate the Partner Center to help you find the right partners for your coalition.
  • Examine What Works for Health to find evidence-informed programs, policies, and strategies.