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

PrintYear after year employers view Indiana as an attractive place to do business. How can your community set itself apart? By becoming a designated Indiana Healthy Community. Business leaders are striving to recruit and retain exceptional employees that are healthier and more productive. Why? Healthcare is a top business cost, so smart leaders seek locations where there is already a focus on building a healthier, more economically viable community.

The Wellness Council of Indiana compiled best practices, tools, and resources from community and workplace health, economic, and quality of life improvement programs from across the globe and designed the Indiana Healthy Community initiative specifically for Indiana communities. 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.

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. These health and quality of life statistics are key factors for business leaders when making decisions about where to locate their organizations and jobs. The Indiana Healthy Community Initiative provides communities with the strategies, structure, and guidance to step up and improve the lives of Hoosiers across the state.

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, 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.

Political Atmosphere

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.

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.

Communication Strategy

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.

Need more information?

Learn more about Indiana Healthy Community logistics.

Ready to get started?

Take a look at our pre-initiative considerations before contacting the Wellness Council of Indiana.

Become a Sponsor

Learn more about becoming a regional Indiana Healthy Community sponsor.

Program Partners & Supporters