Indiana Healthy Community Initiative

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

Healthy, Economically Viable Communities

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 takes a workforce development and economic improvement approach by focusing heavily on employer participation within the communities we serve. We help communities:

  • Assess their programs, services, and infrastructure in four domains: Health, Economy, Environment, and Community

  • Use data from the assessment and other sources to determine community needs

  • Take Action by assisting key stakeholders in developing a Healthy Community Action Plan with goals and objectives

  • Gain Recognition for the steps they take to improve community health and quality of life with the Indiana Healthy Community designation from the Wellness Council of Indiana

Where Does Indiana Stand?

According to the 2018 America’s Health Rankings report conducted by the United Health Foundation, Indiana ranks 41st out of 50 states for health (we were 38th in 2017). 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 33rd worst in drug deaths

We’re 39th worst in obesity

We’re 44th 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 Indiana Healthy Community initiative aims to help communities develop a comprehensive strategy to move toward long-term health and economic prosperity.

For more information about the Indiana Healthy Community Initiative, contact Ashley O’Rourke at

(317) 264-2167 or

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.