What Is a Healthy Community?

A healthy community does not exist solely based on the quality of its healthcare system, but rather based on the health and happiness of its citizens in all aspects of their lives. This includes physical and mental health and well-being as supported by the cleanliness, quality, and engagement of their community. For this reason, PHC wants to make sure we focus on the broad determinants of health, as well as, encouraging our partners to do the same. To understand our partnerships and goals is to understand what kind of community we want to create. This can be further understood by our definition of a healthy community:

  • Health is broadly defined as physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease.
  • Health is strongly impacted by social and economic conditions that characterize poor communities and communities of color.
  • Approaches to health that focus on changing conditions and environments where people live, learn, work, pray, and play are likely to have the greatest impact.
  • Interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches to research, teaching, and service are necessary to address the complex health challenges experienced by communities.
  • Health is directly tied to quality of life and is a resource for living and working; therefore healthy communities are essential to the social and economic well-being of our state and nation.
  • Working in authentic partnership with communities is not only essential to health promotion, but is also a critical element of effective and sustainable University-community relationships.
  • Working closely with communities helps to create a more relevant workforce that is more skilled and more effective in meeting diverse community needs.
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