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Smart Growth

Healthy Places for Healthy People

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See how a Federally Qualified Health Center in Williamson, West Virginia, used healthy-eating and active-living programs to anchor downtown redevelopment and create economic opportunities.
The Women's Health Center in downtown Middlesboro, Kentucky
The Appalachian Regional Healthcare system located satellite services, including a Women’s Health Center, in formerly vacant and underused buildings in downtown Middlesboro, Kentucky. Hospital-affiliated services provide much-needed care and patient education while encouraging other development downtown.

Healthy Places for Healthy People engages with community leaders and health care partners to create walkable, healthy, economically vibrant downtowns and neighborhoods that can improve health, protect the environment, and support economic growth. These partners include community health centers (including Federally Qualified Health Centers), nonprofit hospitals, and other health care facilities.

Health care facilities can promote health, environmental, and economic goals by:

  • Contributing to economic development and downtown revitalization by locating health centers, hospital facilities, and associated programs in walkable, compact neighborhoods and central business districts that are accessible via a range of transportation options.
  • Supporting local entrepreneurs who have business ideas that will contribute to a healthy community and create economic opportunities for residents.
  • Working with partners and stakeholders in various sectors to use health as an economic driver for a local, thriving economy and a healthy community.
  • Fostering collaboration between workforce development and economic development initiatives to renovate and repurpose abandoned downtown buildings into new health center sites, affordable housing, retail, and other community assets.
  • Providing primary care and preventive services to those who do not have access to care.
  • Promoting healthy behaviors and lifestyles through activities such as supporting downtown farmers markets, co-op markets, and community gardens that provide access to fresh, healthy, local food.
  • Creating physical activity programs and supporting sidewalks, bike paths, trails, and parks in the community that promote active living.

The pilot phase of this program was sponsored by EPA and the Appalachian Regional Commission. Health care facilities can be particularly helpful partners in rural communities and small towns, where their economic impact in catalyzing downtown revitalization can be especially important.

If you have questions about Healthy Places for Healthy People, please read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Healthy Places for Healthy People.

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2017-2018 Call for Applications

The application period for this round of planning assistance from Healthy Places for Healthy People closed on October 25, 2017. The application is available here for reference only.

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2017 Partner Communities

Map of communities selected in 2017 for Healthy Places for Healthy PeopleHealthy Places for Healthy People 2017 partner communities. Click on the map to enlarge.EPA is partnering with the following communities during the pilot phase of Healthy Places for Healthy People:

  • Anderson, Indiana, where the Madison County Council of Governments, the city of Anderson, and several local hospital and health center partners will create Health Districts throughout the city around key health care facilities to help revitalize the neighborhoods, improve the environment, and contribute to health improvements for residents.
  • Bangor, Maine, where the city of Bangor, Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems, Acadia Hospital, Penobscot Community Health Care (a Federally Qualified Health Center), and other partners will work to integrate public and environmental health initiatives with downtown revitalization strategies, including creating more transportation opportunities and promoting business development downtown.
  • Greensboro, Alabama, where the city of Greensboro will partner with the West Central Alabama Area Health Education Center, Hale County Hospital, Whatley Health Services (a Federally Qualified Health Center), Project Horseshoe Farm, Hale Empowerment and Revitalization Organization, and others to revitalize Greensboro’s downtown corridor while enhancing the community's environmental and economic health.
  • Los Angeles, California, where the nonprofit New Economics for Women will partner with the nonprofit public charter school NEW Academy of Science and Arts and the Arroyo Vista Family Health Center (a Federally Qualified Health Center), each headquartered in the Pico-Union/Westlake neighborhood, to address blight, air quality, and poverty, while also meeting the housing and health care needs of the primarily immigrant community it serves.Community health center and library in PhiladelphiaPutting health centers in buildings with a mix of community and civic services that people can easily reach on foot, by bike, by transit, or by car makes it easier for residents to get the services they need.
    Photo courtesy of Mike Callahan, Renaissance Planning.
  • Montgomery and Smithers, West Virginia, where Fayette County will partner with Montgomery General Hospital and New River Health Association (a Federally Qualified Health Center that runs a school-based health clinic) to identify ways that the health and wellness sector can reinvigorate the regional economy and contribute to cleaning up blighted properties downtown.
  • Monett, Missouri, where the local hospital, CoxHealth, is working with the city of Monett, the local school district, the Monett Main Street Organization, and other partners to improve health and the environment in the downtown and surrounding neighborhoods by building opportunities for walking and physical exercise, improving access to healthy food, and creating downtown revitalization strategies.
  • Nogales, Arizona, where Mariposa Community Health Center (a Federally Qualified Health Center) will explore creating a downtown clinic location. As the health center incorporates health and wellness into its plans, it envisions green and open spaces for walking and physical activity and more economic opportunities for new businesses to start downtown.
  • Port Townsend, Washington, where the North Olympic Peninsula Resource Conservation and Development Council, Jefferson Healthcare, and the city of Port Townsend will partner with community organizations to repurpose a former school into an integrated center to house health care, social services, community wellness, and strengthened emergency preparedness.
  • Powell County, Kentucky, where the Kentucky River Foothills Development Council, which operates a Federally Qualified Health Center, and its partners will work together on the "Healthy Powell County" effort to create walking trails, community gardens, and transportation options to improve health, economic, and environmental outcomes in communities throughout the county.
  • Waterville, Maine, where Healthy Northern Kennebec, a coalition supported by MaineGeneral Health, will partner with Inland Hospital, Colby College, and other partners through the "Healthy Waterville" initiative to revitalize downtown Waterville while ensuring all residents have access to healthy food, health care, and economic opportunity.

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