After discovering that many local organizations were addressing community health, but operating independently, local philanthropist and community health advocate, Jeanne Donlevy Arnold, envisioned a collaborative process utilizing networks and partnerships. Working together, these groups could pool resources, focus on priority areas and improve community wellness in her hometown.
With a longstanding history in prevention, Penn State PRO Wellness partnered with Ms. Arnold to realize this vision in Better Together: Lebanon County − an initiative bringing multiple sectors of the community together to improve the health and quality of life for its residents.
Successful community-wide health initiatives engage the community throughout the planning process. To accomplish this, a Better Together steering committee was formed and includes representation from the local community, hospital systems, grocery stores, restaurants, schools, non-profit organizations and policy makers. This committee assists with the planning, goal setting and outcomes of the Better Together: Lebanon County initiative, including an annual community-wide summit. Based on expertise, summit attendees’ interests and available resources, five action teams have emerged from priority areas identified to date.
- Healthy food access
- Physical activity
- Behavioral health
In 2021, PRO Wellness merged Better Together Lebanon with the Community Health Council of Lebanon. This provides 501(c)3 opportunities for Action Teams to apply for grants.
Click here to learn more about Better Together: Lebanon County.
Learn more about this initiative: