The Healthy Communities Partnership (HCP) is a renewed call-to-action for our state’s business community, schools, health plans, public health professionals, transportation industry, community planning professionals and policy makers to build upon existing efforts to make healthy choices easy when it comes to tobacco use, nutrition and physical activity.
Just a few chronic diseases – cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and asthma – account for 2 out of 3 deaths and the lion’s share of disability in our state. These diseases shorten lives, reduce quality of life, drive health spending and burden far too many caregivers. And they have a few common root causes: smoking, poor nutrition, and physical inactivity. What is more, we know that economic and environmental circumstances often increase these risks.
We know that prevention can work. As we have reduced smoking, we have seen some cancers decline.
But most prevention focuses on just a single factor or maybe just a few, like physical activity and nutrition.
The Healthy Communities Partnership aims to advance prevention comprehensively by developing a single focus and a more powerful voice. We aim for public and private environments and policies that make healthy choices the easy ‘default choices’ at work, in schools and across all of Washington’s many diverse communities.
We believe government cannot and probably should not control our choices. Yet we believe our communities can make healthy living easier for each of us if businesses, unions, schools, philanthropy, health care and others work with government, on their own and with one another to make it happen. So that is what we are all about.
The Healthy Communities Partnership is a public/private collaboration initiated in 2010 by the Washington Health Foundation under a contract with the Washington State Department of Health. Anyone can join simply by forwarding us your organization’s name and contact information. The Partnership's fifteen member Steering Committee is Co-Chaired by Ms. Donna Steward, Government Affairs Director at the Association of Washington Business and Ms. Allene Mares, Assistant Secretary at the Washington State Department of Health. We are fortunate to have fifteen of our state’s most experienced business, health, government and community leaders bringing their widely diverse energy and commitment to this new collaboration. They are working toward consensus on changes to our environments at work, around schools and in the community that can make and keep healthy choices easy. If you are reading this, chances are good that you or someone in your organization is already working toward these same goals. We invite you to join us.
To learn more about the Partnership, or to get involved, contact Don Sloma, MPH, Healthy Communities Partnership Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org. Together we can make health easy in all of Washington’s communities.