Indiana Healthy Community Initiative

An evidence-based collaboration process designed to help communities focus on implementing and sustaining a culture of health and well-being to spur economic vitality.
Honor Roll of Healthy Communities

Why  Healthy Communities?

Indiana is consistently recognized as one of the best places in the nation to do business. We lead the country in manufacturing job growth and have been ranked second in the nation for long-term fiscal stability.

However, employers are quick to point out that they are seeing a smaller and smaller pool of individuals to recruit and retain talent from due to many health and environmental factors, with some of the largest being the social environment and lack of infrastructure to encourage healthy living. 

According to the 2017 America’s Health Rankings report conducted by the United Health Foundation, Indiana ranks 38th out of 50 states for health. Gallup’s 2017 Wellbeing Index has Indiana 42nd out of 50 states for overall well being. Indiana also ranks towards the bottom for many outcomes that are directly tied to our workforce health:

We’re 34th worst in drug deaths

We’re 40th worst in obesity

We’re 41st worst in percentage of smokers

These statistics affect our individual quality of life and the economic vitality of our communities. Our individual health is related to poor workforce outcomes through missed work days, high healthcare costs, absenteeism, and lost productivity among other reasons. The IHC initiative aims to help communities develop a comprehensive strategy to move toward long-term health and economic prosperity.

This initiative is driven by community leaders and advocates who unite around the desire to create better places for Hoosiers to live, work, learn, and play. The WCI takes a workforce development and economic improvement approach by focusing heavily on employer participation within the communities we serve.

For more information about the Indiana Healthy Community Initiative, contact the Indiana Healthy Communities Program Coordinator, Madie Newman at (317) 264-2167 or

 The Indiana Healthy Community (IHC) Initiative is an evidence-based collaboration process designed to help communities focus on implementing and sustaining a culture of health and well-being to spur economic vitality. The Wellness Council of Indiana (WCI) compiled best practices, tools, and resources from community and quality of life improvement programs from across the globe and designed the IHC initiative specifically for Indiana communities.

We help communities convene key stakeholders to assess the current state of the community, develop a Healthy Community Action Plan, and work towards collective goals to improve on the four domains of the IHC Initiative: 


What is the process?

Learn more about the Indiana Healthy Community designation process and timeline.

Ready to get started?

Take a look at our pre-assessment questions before contacting the Wellness Council of Indiana.

Become a Sponsor

Learn more about becoming a regional Indiana Healthy Community sponsor.

 What does it take to become an Indiana Healthy Community?

Below are the 6 Key Components to building a successful community initiative. Communities are asked to consider these components when creating goals and objectives for their initiative.

Community Understanding

Look at community health indicators and determine areas that need attention. Take an inventory of community amenities so that you are in a position to leverage what you already have. Seek input from citizen on what they envision as an ideal place to live, work, and play.

Data Driven Decisions

Utilize relevant data and identified community health needs to develop your initiative. Share data sources and research with the greater community to promote transparency. Determine an evaluation strategy that measures outcomes of the community initiative and communicate the results with citizens.

Leadership and Advocacy

Engage diverse community sectors and ensure leaders are involved in each step of the community initiative process. Utilize leaders to help develop short and long-term goals that are feasible and will be supported by their various sectors.

Collective Vision and Action

A collective vision is based off the common goals and strategies of diverse sectors in the community to inspire action. Tap into existing community resources and ensure all participants are working together to achieve the goals set by the initiative. .

Citizen Involvement

Empower citizens to share their input and help in the decision-making process. Citizens should be put in roles that best fit their skills and talents and it is important that these roles and expectations are openly communicated with them. Self-organizing groups understand that their diverse roles complement and support other groups in working toward their shared vision.

Effective Communication

Brand your community initiative and send regular communications through a variety of different channels. Ask for feedback from recipients and try to incorporate suggestions into your communication strategy to reach more people in the most effective way possible.