Established in 1972, the Aetna Foundation has a long tradition of giving and community support and has contributed more than $427 million in grants and sponsorships. The Aetna Foundation’s core focus areas are obesity, racial and ethnic health care equity, and integrated health care. Read more →
How will your organization respond to the call?
The call for healthier communities is gaining steam across the country. From small towns to urban centers in all parts of the United States, leaders are working to improve the health—and the status—of their communities and the people who live and work there.
Recently, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation announced the winners of its Culture of Health community winners, recognizing eight communities that are making strides toward better health. From building eco-friendly businesses, play areas and walking paths in once abandoned and run-down neighborhoods, to improving financial literacy and bringing accessible health care to the community—these cities are casting a wide net to improve the long-term outlook for their people and their economic future.
While many of these efforts have been led by community and non-profit organizations, business leaders increasingly recognize the connection between a healthy community and a healthy workforce, and are findings ways to lend their leadership and resources to community health improvement.
This shift was underscored at the “Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Communities” Convening Session and through the environmental scan funded by the Institute of Medicine. The convening session also drove home the important message that a common language and set of metrics are needed with which business and community could easily connect and identify.
Over the course of the year, we have been visiting different cities and interviewing community collaborators to find out what they are doing to encourage stakeholder engagement in all sectors. The places we’ve visited ranged in their community-focused efforts from new initiatives to well-established collaboratives, and include:
- Cloud, Minn.
- Waconia, Minn.
- La Crosse, Wis.
- Wausau, Wis.
- State of Oklahoma
- State of South Carolina
- Jacksonville, Fla.
- Nashville, Tenn.
I encourage you to share your story with us, or nominate a featured community.
The call for healthier communities received an additional boost in visibility and prominence in September, when Surgeon General Vivek Murthy called on the nation to improve the walkability of our communities, and for individuals to Step It Up! and incorporate more walking into our daily lives. We’d love to hear if your company or community is responding to this call to action and, if so, how?
Remember, by interacting with and using the resources that are available on this website and by sharing your stories, we can all learn together and improve the health of individuals, families and our nation’s current and future workforce. We look forward to hearing from you!
In good health,
Project Manager, HWHC