Healthy CommunitiesThe World Health Organization defines a healthy community as:
"… one that is continually creating and improving those physical and social environments and expanding those community resources that enable people to mutually support each other in performing all the functions of life and in developing to their maximum potential."One of HRiA's strengths is our ability to build coalitions that engage a wide range of stakeholders around critical public health issues. Many of HRiA's healthy community efforts have had significant impact at the state and local level.
Healthy Community Principles
- A broad definition of "health": Health is not the absence of disease. Health is defined broadly to include the full range of quality of life issues. It recognizes that most of what creates health is lifestyle- and behavior-related. Other major factors are genetic endowment and the socio-economic, cultural and physical environment. Health is a by-product of a wide array of choices and factors, not the simply the result of a medical care intervention.
- A broad definition of "community": By using as broad a definition as possible of what makes up a community, individuals and partnerships can address their shared issues in the most fruitful way possible. Communities can be based on faith, perspective, land and profession, as well as being determined by geographic lines.
- Shared vision from community values
- Address quality of life for everyone
- Diverse citizen participation and widespread community ownership
- Focus on "systems change"
- Build capacity using local assets and resources
- Benchmark and measure progress and outcomes