Employers view Indiana as an attractive place to do business. How can your community set itself apart from others in the state? By becoming a recognized Indiana Healthy Community. Employers are striving to recruit and retain exceptional employees that are healthier and more productive. Why? Health care is one of the top business costs, so smart leaders seek locations where there is already a focus on building a healthier and active community.
The Wellness Council of Indiana provides local organizations, business and community leaders with a rally cry supporting health and quality of life initiatives to help spur healthier living and economic development. That is what constitutes an Indiana Healthy Community!
We took best practice ideas, tools and resources from community and workplace initiatives from all over the United States and specifically designed our initiative for Indiana’s cities, towns, and counties to join together and create a higher quality of life for their citizens. The focus is on how workplaces, schools, neighborhoods and other “places” develop and evolve an atmosphere of pride for its residents and a sense of excitement for businesses that look to expand or relocate their good jobs to your community.
According to America’s Health Rankings conducted by the United Health Foundation, Indiana ranks 41st out of 50 states for health. Gallup’s Wellbeing Index has Indiana 46th out of 50 states for overall well being. When business leaders look at where to locate good jobs, these health statistics are key factor for decisions – since health care costs will be one the top five costs in their budgets. We must get our quality of life measurements up – the Indiana Healthy Community Initiative provides the strategy and structure to help you and other leaders step up and make a difference.
For more information about the Indiana Healthy Community Initiative – contact the Wellness Council of Indiana at (317) 264-2165 or by email.
The Indiana Healthy, Wealthy, Wise Index provides local businesses, non-profits, community advocates and local government leaders the data they need to assess multi-dimensional wellness within their county. Wellness is fundamental to the bottom line of businesses and to the economic development prospects of our regions, and is a key success factor to building thriving communities for people to live, work, learn and play. This Index provides key metric points of conversation to build your community’s plan for a healthy community!
What does it take to become an Indiana Healthy Community?
Understand Your Community
Creating a community initiative requires first knowing who is a part of your community and what your community is doing. Identify relevant data. How are workplaces and schools contributing to driving the community forward?
Leadership Throughout the Community
The key to a successful community initiative is have the support and engagement of leadership throughout the community. School leaders, workplace leaders, Chamber of Commerce, elected officials, public health leaders, hospitals, faith-based organizations, civic groups and top community advocates play crucial roles in this process. It is best to determine each sector’s mission to develop a shared vision.
Blending Strategies for Shared Vision
When wellness becomes a strategic vision of the community, that is when environments change and the impact is truly felt. Every key player that is driving the community initiative will have different ideas of what needs to be addressed in the community, but by looking at the shared vision of where the community should be will help self-organizing groups work towards cultivating a healthier environment.
Involvement by Residents
In order to fully execute a community initiative, it must be done with coalitions and partnerships found throughout the community. These people are willing to work towards the shared vision. They understand how their roles complement and support one another in making your community a better place to live, work and play.
Knowing how your community operates is key in moving community initiatives forward. Understand who has the resources and time to make the needed changes and put plans into action.
Data Driven Decision Making
It is one thing to collect data and assess it. It is a completely different model to drive your strategy and make decisions based on that data. Look at relevant data. Execute initiatives and make the changes that should come about from the data collection. Define what meaningful results are and ask yourself, “Who do the results need to be meaningful for?” Identify key outcome points, determine if these points can be controlled by the initiative and then base your decision making on the success or failure of these outcomes. As you evolve, different measuring points should be considered. This is a collective outcome.
Environment (Built, Social & Natural)
The way a community’s economic structure is set up and operates plays a crucial role in making the healthier choice the easier choice. Citizens of the community need access to affordable healthy lifestyle choices. Find ways to support the utilization of these choices. Pay attention to the safety and condition of the community. Understand that infrastructure should be functional.
The importance of developing a plan for communicating your message is critical. Look for ways to brand your community initiative and know the best practices and best methodologies for how to get the word out about your community events. Align the strategy throughout all the sectors in your community. A multi-channel communication strategy is critical to the success of your initiative.