HELP US DEVELOP A STRONGER HEALTHY COMMUNITIES MOVEMENT TODAY


BECAUSE HEALTH HAPPENS
IN THE PLACES WHERE
WE LIVE, LEARN, WORK AND PLAY

The positive ramifications of smart growth are vast. A healthy community is one of the greatest benefits this approach can offer. For this reason, health professionals and practitioners across the U.S. continue to join forces with the stewards of the built, natural and social environments to improve the health of our nation.

Planners, designers, architects, engineers, developers, health foundations, elected officials, community-based organizations and many others are working together on issues related to the intersection of public health and community development like never before.

Prominent collaborations such as Plan4Health-a partnership between the American Planning Association and the American Public Health Association-are empowering coalitions to help improve health outcomes.

The Urban Land Institute's Building Healthy Places Initiative exemplifies how the private sector is responding to the need to incorporate health considerations into real estate development processes.

Visionaries in organizations such as the Million Healthier Lives and the Building Healthy Places Network are fostering a culture of health through the development of opportunities for crossectoral collaborations of traditional and non-traditional partners.

In many states, cities and counties are incorporating the Health in All Policies (HiAP) model into their daily work and by developing health and wellness chapters into their comprehensive land use planning policies.

These examples did not happen by accident. For more than three decades, planning and health professionals have been nurturing what we know today as the healthy communities movement. Within the past five years, however, these collaborations, partnerships and initiatives have sprouted throughout the nation and are fostering an emerging narrative that envisions a more just, equitable and healthier society.



 

"We have traditionally thought about health in a very narrow context. Health is far more broad than what hospitals and doctors and nurses do. So how do we improve health across America? We need to go into the communities and think about the factors that drive health"

-​Vice Admiral (VADM) Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., M.B.A.
United States Surgeon General
​Quote from the 2015 Aspen Ideas Festival



 

AN OPPORTUNITY FOR ACTION



Although the movement has made great strides, efforts are still scattered and uncoordinated without a common national healthy communities strategy.

Imagine if the leadership of major private and non-profit organizations, government agencies, professional associations, foundations, academics and community advocates advancing the healthy communities movement would coalesce in one place to learn from another.

Imagine if these health champions would develop a unified national healthy communities platform that would serve as a common denominator and as a guiding beacon for others to engage in the movement.

The opportunity to realize these two milestones is now a reality.

Click here to listen to the Infinite Earth Radio Podcast episode in which Erick Calloway from ChangeLab Solutions and Miguel A. Vazquez from the Riverside University Health System Public Health talk about the National Healthy Communities Platform.
 

BEYOND HEALTH CARE FORUM: CHARTING THE NATIONAL HEALTHY COMMUNITIES PLATFORM





On Saturday, February 4, 2017, a diverse group of leaders came together during the 2017 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in Saint Louis, Missouri to be a part of the Beyond Healthcare Forum: Charting the National Healthy Communities Platform. After a lively panel discussion about the state and future of the healthy communities movement, attendees dive into identifying priority themes and topics to kick start the preparation of the National Healthy Communities Platform (NHCP).

The NHCP is envisioned as a guiding code for action for professionals and practitioners vested in the development of healthy communities.  This dynamic tool will be comprised of strategies for policy development and implementation that advance equity in all aspects of the social, natural and physical environments.




 


 

 

WHO SHOULD BE INVOLVED



Everyone working on improving the social determinants of health is invited to be a part of this journey. There are many organizations and individuals shaping the built, natural and social environments which affect the quality of health outcomes in the communities where we live, work, play and learn. They include planners, public health professionals, architects, developers, health foundations, smart growth advocates and many others. Whether or not you or your organization has taken a position on healthy communities, this is a unique opportunity to connect with other like-minded individuals and organizations to develop the National Healthy Communities Platform.