What is a healthy community? Is it one with bike lanes where you can safely travel to work and home? Is it one with fresh, healthy foods that are accessible to all the citizens? Is it one with safe, affordable housing, or one with clean drinking water? There is no one way to describe a healthy community, and the needs of a community may drive the health priorities that local leaders and citizens focus on. Did you know that the zip code in which we reside is a better predictor of our health than our genetic code? Because of this, public health professionals strive to improve the health of ALL communities so that no matter someone’s zip code, they have the same opportunity to live in a healthy environment as their neighbor who may live 5, 10, or even 20 miles down the road.
In honor of National Public Health Week and today’s topic of healthy communities, I am highlighting a few communities and one state throughout the United States and the health initiatives and policies they have implemented to improve the health and safety of their community.