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
- Family and community engagement
- Early childcare
PRO Wellness continues to facilitate summit meetings and participate in all action team meetings. PRO Wellness also provides content expertise, assistance and strategic planning to the group.
Click here to learn more about Better Together: Lebanon County.
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