The Celebration Continues: Looking Back on 25 Years of the Healthy Communities Movement
This is the vision: Cities can be healthy, vibrant places that foster the health of residents. Violence can be prevented, saving lives in cities across the country. Healthcare organizations can help people stay healthy—as well as treat them when they’re sick—by helping change conditions outside of clinic walls.
These ideas are at the center of the Healthy Communities movement, which began 25 years ago. National Civic Review has been marking that milestone with two special issues sponsored by Kaiser Permanente. The second issue is now hot off the press and available here.
Healthy Communities, volume 2, is full of articles about the many ways the movement has worked to improve the health and wellness of our nation by focusing attention on the places we live and work. From Omaha to Memphis, Scranton, Pennsylvania to Polk County, Iowa, the issue celebrates the efforts to make our communities more walkable, to create safe routes to schools, to bring farmer’s markets to urban centers.
Prevention Institute contributed two articles. The first, by Rachel Davis, looks at the remarkable change in the way many cities now understand and address violence. To them, violence is no longer viewed as just a criminal justice problem to be handled by arrests and suppression efforts but is seen instead as a public health problem to be addressed through systematic planning efforts that involve the entire community. “The tide is shifting,” Rachel notes.
The second article, by Leslie Mikkelsen, Larry Cohen and Sonya Frankowski, outlines Prevention Institute’s thinking about the need for a new model we call Community-Centered Health Homes. In this model, healthcare practitioners go beyond treatment and work with community members and organizations to address the conditions that have a great influence on health.
Check out the entire issue. The National Civic Review’s co-publisher, Jossey-Bass, Wiley, is providing free access to the contents. Click here to see the full table of contents and access individual articles. Happy Birthday to us all!
Photo credit: Mary Black Foundation