Be the One!
Building Healthy Communities
December 13, 2017
Clinton County is one of the most rural areas in the State, and its low-density living patterns pose a major challenge to designing and implementing health interventions.
In the past, Clinton County has relied heavily on service organizations to advocate for the health needs of the populations it serves, and has successfully convened community partners around local health priorities. The collaborative approach between the Clinton County Health Department (CCHD) and local hospitals to conduct health assessments and planning has been widely successful in connecting clinical medicine and population health stakeholders. However, the CCHD has struggled to engage residents directly in health planning and action. In 2017, NYSHealth awarded CCHD a grant for its Be the One! initiative, which aims to educate residents on local opportunities for health while increasing their self-efficacy.
Under this grant, CCHD offered a series of community events at different locations throughout the county designed to increase awareness among residents of existing and developing opportunities for health. Event locations were strategically selected to maximize exposure to high-risk or traditionally under-engaged residents, often in the most rural parts of the county. Wherever possible, CCHD used locations that have been revitalized to support cross-generational, lifelong activity or sites that have integrated active community and Complete Streets policies. CCHD coordinated entertainment at each location to draw residents and designed an interactive visual display that depicted 101 ways residents can help make their communities healthier and contribute to collaborative health planning and action. Event participants were encouraged to take the Better Choice Family pledge, which was developed as part of the Healthy Neighborhoods Fund work plan.