Aetna Foundation’s New Awards Shine the “Spotlight” on Programs That Are Improving Community Health

February 4, 2018

Aetna Foundation’s New Awards Shine the “Spotlight” on Programs That Are Improving Community Health

We are proud to share that The Health Collaborative has been selected to receive $25,000 as a Spotlight Award winner in the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge. We were selected by the Aetna Foundation for this recognition because of promising results our initiatives have shown in improving health outcomes in our community.

The Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge—an initiative launched in 2016 by the Aetna Foundation, along with the American Public Health Association and the National Association of Counties— is a $1.5 million prize challenge empowering 50 small-to-midsize cities and counties to implement and scale innovative solutions to pressing public health issues. The Health Collaborative was selected as a Spotlight award winner for our ability to show measurable improvements towards fighting local health disparities and social determinants of health challenges that our community faces.
Our participation in the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge comes at an important time for the Dan River Region. As residents experience high rates of poverty, food insecurity, obesity and chronic disease, The Health Collaborative is taking an integrated approach to creating environments, policies and systems that make the healthy choice the easy choice where people live, learn, work, play, pray and age. With five main goal areas – active living, healthy eating, access to healthcare, creating healthy spaces and leadership and capacity building, The Health Collaborative recognizes that a healthy population is vital to ensuring the region’s social, economic and physical vitality.

For the first year in the Challenge, The Health Collaborative was committed to 1) creating walkable and bike friendly communities by adopting Complete Streets policies and conducting walkability assessments; 2) building a stronger local food system and 3) supporting healthy environments at schools and worksites, in faith communities and during out of school time.

It is now time to create a vision for the Challenge’s second year. Imagine that all of us have more opportunities --near where we live-- to be active, eat healthy and get the healthcare we need. Imagine that each of our workplaces, faith communities, schools, childcare centers, and afterschool programs provide environments that support healthy behaviors. Imagine that all our organizations, community groups, neighborhood associations, businesses, schools, and local governments have been working together and are dedicated to improving healthy equity.

We must all work together to create Health for All in the Dan River Region. The Health Collaborative has many opportunities for you and your organization to make a difference in our community. Below are several projects and groups that are already working to create positive change. Find your interest and join the movement to make the Dan River Region THRIVE!

  • Join The Health Collaborative
  • Join an action team – healthy eating, active living, access to healthcare and healthy spaces
  • Join a committee—Evaluation, Marketing, Sustainability
  • Join the Health Equity Taskforce
  • Become a Health Ambassador for your neighborhood
  • Invite Health Collaborative members to your community or neighborhood and share your ideas
  • Consider providing in-kind or other financial support to a project
  • Register your school, worksite, childcare center, or faith community for the THRIVE! Challenge

Thank you for your continued support! (Read More)