Healthy People in Healthy Communities
A Guide for Community Leaders

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Public Health Service
Office of Public Health and Science
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

June 1998

city/country scene graphic

Dear Colleague:

Congratulations! You, like millions of other individuals and organizations around the world, have accepted the challenge of creating a healthy community. Your task is large, but the rewards are real and measurable.

As we move toward the next millennium, the concept of a healthy city/community is gaining momentum in the United States and worldwide. A healthy city or community is one that embraces the belief that health is more than merely an absence of disease, it includes those elements that enable people to maintain a high quality of life and productivity.

This guide is a tool for you to use in nurturing those elements that make your community healthy. It presents an overview of the process of forming a healthy community coalition, creating a vision, and measuring results. A selected list of Healthy People 2000 national health promotion and disease prevention objectives is included to help you form your healthy community agenda and measure the success of your efforts.

Individuals and organizations have a definite role to play in advancing the health of the people of this Nation and the world. Many are doing just that by forming local healthy community coalitions. I encourage you to join this effort to create a healthier nation. I hope you find this guide especially helpful in creating lasting partnerships dedicated to improving the health of your community.

Sincerely yours,

Satcher signature

David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Secretary for Health and Surgeon General


This publication was developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the Public Health Service's Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) in the Office of Public Health and Science, in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). It is intended for anyone interested in the process of making their community a healthier place to live and work.

Primary authors were Matthew Guidry, Ph.D., Senior Advisor to the Director, ODPHP, and Cristina Puentes-Markides, Analysis and Strategic Planning Office, PAHO. Additional assistance was provided by Debbie Maiese, Janice T. Radak, and Janet Samorodin (ODPHP). In addition, the contributions of the following reviewers are greatly appreciated:

Deborah Bohr, Vice President, American Hospital Association, The Hospital Research and Educational Trust

Ellen B. Ceppetelli, Curriculum Development, University of Vermont

Melissa Clarke, Health Resources and Services Administration, Office of Planning, Evaluation and Legislation

Linda DeWolf, Senior Director, Community Health Improvement , VHA, Inc.

Kathryn Johnson, President/CEO, The Healthcare Forum

Brick Lancaster, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Adult and Community Health

Peter Lee, Director, Healthy Community Initiative , South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control

Rev. Samuel Nixon, Jr., Director, Affiliate Relations , Congress of National Black Churches

Don Mazziotti, Capital Region Health Futures Project

Tyler Norris, Executive Director, Coalition for
Healthier Cities and Communities

William C. Powanda, Vice President, Support Services, Griffin Health Services Corporation

Joan M. Twiss, Director, California Healthy Cities Project

Nancy Watkins, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Julia Weaver, The National Civic League

Robin Wilcox, Delaware Valley Healthcare Council

Tom Wolff, Director of Community Development, AHEC/Community Partners

Table of Contents

I. Healthy City and Community Defined

II. Creating a Healthy Community

A. The Starting Point
B. Evaluating Community Needs and Assets
C. Creating a Vision
D. Creating Successful Partnerships
E. Obtaining Resources

III. Using Healthy People 2000 Objectives To Set Priorities
and Measure Progress

A. What Is Healthy People 2000?
B. Setting Priorities and Measuring Progress

IV. Using Healthy People 2000 Objectives
To Improve Your Community's Health

Community-based Initiatives
School-based Initiatives
Worksite Health Promotion Initiatives
Health Care Provider Initiatives

V. Getting Started


Bibliographical Resources and Tools

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