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Building Healthy Communities

Is your community a place where it is easy for people to be physically active, eat healthy and be tobacco-free? By promoting healthy behaviors, your community can increase residential demand and economics while improving the health of everyone.

Michigan Department of Community Health recommends that each community, township, city or village have a Community Health Coalition. A Community Health Coalition can be a new launch or an expansion of an existing community group. It is important for community coalitions to include interdisciplinary representation from community leaders who can assist with supporting and implementing physical activity, nutrition, tobacco-free programs, policies and changes in the environment. Your Community Health Coalition could include representatives from: 

  • Local Transportation Planners 
  • Faith-based Organizations 
  • Public Health Department 
  • Residents
  • Media
  • Local Y's/Fitness Clubs 
  • Farmers
  • Public Officials
  • Community Service Organizations
  • Zoning and Planning
  • City Engineers
  • Parks and Recreation
  • School Districts
  • Colleges/Universities
  • Law Enforcement 
  • Key Businesses 
  • Health Care Professionals
  • Hospitals
  • Tribal Leaders

The Community Health Coalition can work to increase physical activity, healthy eating and/or tobacco-free lifestyles by first completing the Healthy Communities Checklist. The Healthy Communities Checklist is a short assessment that will identify a community's health environment related to promoting and supporting physical activity, healthy eating/healthy weight, and tobacco-free lifestyles. It assists your community in developing an action plan and setting priorities focused on changing policies and the environment to support healthy behaviors.  

Communities can utilize many Michigan and national tools and resources already developed to enhance the environments and systems to motivate and encourage healthy lifestyles – moving more, eating healthy and living tobacco free. Utilize these valuable Healthy Community Tools and Resources and share them with your key partners.