Communities4Health Blog

Welcome to the Communities4Health Blog! The blog will feature bi-weekly posts on topics related to the work of the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge and interviews with members of the Challenge community. 

Social connection during a time of isolation

By Arianne Noorestani, November 12, 2021

Rates of social isolation have soared across the nation. That is why HCCC grantees are advancing social well-being by shifting systems within their communities to encourage dignity and inclusion. 

Unlocking systems-level thinking in Cincinnati

By Arianne Noorestani, October 6, 2021

For Cincinnati, Ohio’s Green Umbrella, systems-level work is rooted in sustainable and engaging partnerships. Learn more about the Cincinnati project team's strategies in sustaining partnerships in this blog.

Planting and nourishing the seeds for change: HCCC teams are excelling at community engagement and spurring multisector partnership gains

By Brittany Perrotte, September 23, 2021
The newest HCCC Highlights Report (PDF) is now available! Read this blog post written by project director for the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge, Brittany Perrotte, for a summary of key takeaways from the report. Read the full report to learn more about how the HCCC communities are improving access to food and health services.

Setting the stage for authentic community engagement in Paterson

By Arianne Noorestani, August 25, 2021

Placing final decision-making power in the hands of community members can result in lasting improvements in public health. Learn how the Paterson, New Jersey team engaged with its community and more. 

By Arianne Noorestani, August 11, 2021

Dive deeper into the topic of fair compensation by learning more about what HCCC communities are doing to compensate their community members. 

Maximizing the impact of your partnerships: An interview with Rishi Manchanda

By Arianne Noorestani, July 22, 2021

Developing and strengthening partnerships is a key component of sustainability. Read HCCC advisory council member and CEO of HealthBegins Rishi Manchanda’s recommendations on how to start building long-lasting partnerships for community-led initiatives.

Sustaining your Challenge work to promote health and well-being

By Arianne Noorestani, July 8, 2021

Thinking about sustainability for community-led initiatives should not be saved until the end of a grant funding period. Read this blog post to learn more about how to start the planning process for your program. 

Reimaging Peer Connections: An Interview with the Challenge Team 

By Arianne Noorestani, June 24, 2021

Read more about what Challenge team members had to say about HCCC communities and their involvement with the first year of the two year grant initiative.

Communities rising to the challenge: Coming together, reflecting on an uncertain year

By Phil Bors from Healthy Places by Design and Arianne Noorestani, June 16, 2021

The Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge is encouraging community change in important ways! This latest post takes a look back at some of the milestones made by the 20 Challenge communities in the first year of this two year grant initiative.

Revolutionizing mental health care in Forsyth County

By Arianne Noorestani, May 27, 2021

HCCC project leader Brandon Kenney and his team have formed a collaborative, data-informed approach to address mental health needs in Forsyth County, Georgia. Read about how his project is using data to improve care coordination in their local community. 

Managing mental health during COVID-19

By Arianne Noorestani, May 13, 2021

Addressing mental health needs is paramount to COVID-19 response. Read more about how HCCC communities are addressing conditions contributing to declining mental health in this blog piece.

Optimism engineers are building bridges to advance equity

By Arianne Noorestani, April 22, 2021

HCCC project teams had the opportunity to showcase their work during National Public Health Week and highlight how they are building bridges to curate safer and healthier communities. 

Strengthening community health in Perry County, Kentucky

By Arianne Noorestani, April 7, 2021

Perry County project team leader, Frances Hardin-Fanning, dives in how her project is building local partnerships that strengthen community.

Resident leaders are blooming in the “Flower City”

By Arianne Noorestani, March 25, 2021
Don't miss out on the opportunity to learn more about how project team leader Mike Bulger and the rest of his Rochester team are engaging resident leaders to advance health equity in their city. 

Humanizing the virtual work landscape

By Arianne Noorestani, March 11, 2021

Got Zoom fatigue? Make the online work world easier to bear with these tips and lessons learned. 

Getting the most out of your social media

by Arianne Noorestani, Jan. 28, 2021
In this blog post, Michele Late, APHA’s deputy director of communications, delves into how you can build a better social media presence and effectively manage your online networks. 

Social media’s health equity potential proving powerful during the pandemic

by Arianne Noorestani, Jan. 14, 2021
Dive into how the pandemic has changed the ways we "internet" and the new opportunities present on social media for both HCCC and other public health initiatives. 

Taking a look back on 2020

by Arianne Noorestani, Dec. 10, 2020

2020 has been quite a year. Challenge project teams faced circumstances no one expected or imagined. With all that has occurred, it’s easy to lose focus on the incredible achievements of the Challenge community. This blog posts takes a look back on the year and some of what HCCC grantees have accomplished.

A Conversation on Public Health Advocacy with Sarah de Guia

by Arianne Noorestani, Dec. 1, 2020
Check out the most recent blog to hear more about what Sarah de Guia from Change Lab Solutions had to say about creating a common agenda for advocacy.

The importance of post-election advocacy in public health

by Arianne Noorestani, Nov. 13, 2020
Learn more about how the Challenge project teams are incorporating advocacy into their work and how anyone can push for change for various public health priorities.

A discussion on domestic violence with Bridgette Stumpf

by Arianne Noorestani, Oct. 22, 2020
Bridgette Stumpf, co-founder and executive director of the Network for Victim Recovery of DC, discusses her perspective on how domestic violence intersects with access to food and health services and how Challenge communities can partner with local domestic violence organizations.

Domestic violence in the age of COVID-19

by Brittany Perrotte, Oct. 8, 2020

Read up on the intersection of food security and health care with domestic violence and how the power of collaboration can help people in our community who are experiencing domestic violence. 

Rural health preparedness and response: A Q&A with Alan Morgan

by Arianne Noorestani, Sept. 24, 2020

Join us as we conclude our discussion on preparedness by connecting with advisory council member Alan Morgan of the National Rural Health Association. In this blog post, Morgan discusses pandemic and disaster preparedness and response in rural health systems. 

What can we learn from the nation's healthiest communities?

by Arianne Noorestani, Sept. 22, 2020

Learn more about how the 2020 Healthiest Communities Rankings by U.S. News and World Report, with support from the Aenta Foundation, provide essential data to support community organizations, leaders and residents pushing for better health. 

Lessons from COVID: Preparing food systems for future emergencies

by Arianne Noorestani and Brittany Perrotte, Sept. 10, 2020

Part one of our two-part blog series, this piece explores how our food system can be restructured to remain resilient in it's response to future emergencies. 

A health equity Q&A with Lamond Daniels

by Arianne Noorestani, Aug. 27, 2020

Join us as we conclude our discussion on health equity by connecting with Challenge Advisory Council member Lamond Daniels. In this blog post, Daniels reflects on the lessons learned from his work with the first cohort of the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge and his new role as the Chief of Community Services for the City of Norwalk, Connecticut.

Redefining community engagement for health equity

by Arianne Noorestani, Aug. 13, 2020

Continuing the conversation on health equity, this blog post explores what authentic community engagement looks like and how the Challenge will work to engage community members in crafting solutions to food and health care access. 

A window of opportunity emerges in the midst of COVID-19

by Arianne Noorestani, Aug. 3, 2020

This first blog post marks the start of the HCCC's health equity series. It focuses on the long-standing health inequities that have been brought to light by COVID-19, and how the Challenge project teams will work to change them.