The Health Improvement Steering Committee is focusing on promoting new attitudes towards health and well being which influence behavior and result in a healthy community. Specifically, the Committee’s goals and strategies are to:
- Promote and advocate for policies and practices at multiple levels of society that engage our community’s residents in healthy behaviors.
- Encourage and support the adoption of healthy lifestyles by all residents.
- Emphasize the utilization of shared prevention strategies that promote healthy lifestyles.
Currently, the Health Improvement Steering Committee activities of the GFHC are focused on implementing Genesee County and the City of Flint’s response to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s “County Health Rankings” study. The annual findings of this study, first released in 2010, consistently ranks Genesee County as one of the unhealthiest counties in the State of Michigan. Specifically, in 2015, Genesee County ranks 77th of 82 Michigan counties in health behaviors – areas such as physical activity, diet/nutrition, smoking, alcohol use, and high-risk sexual behaviors. Perhaps most alarming, is the finding that Genesee County currently ranks 81st of 82 in overall health outcomes (morbidity & mortality).
In April 2011, coinciding with the 2011 announcement of the national County Health Rankings study, the GFHC announced its response in the form of a “County Health Rankings Action Plan,” which seeks to strategically improve Health Behaviors & Health Outcomes in Genesee County and the City of Flint. In addition to announcing the Action Plan, GFHC and community leadership have also engaged the community with the GFHC Board’s 100% member commitment to improvement of health behaviors in Genesee County while introducing the “Commit to Fit” theme for a new community-wide health improvement / physical activity campaign.
In 2011, as part of the Michigan Department of Community Health’s 4 x 4 Plan, the GFHC was selected as one of six local 4 x 4 coalitions to expand prevention activities and empower local residents to make healthy choices.
As a key strategy to promote healthier lifestyles, Commit to Fit! is a common message campaign that promotes practical ways to increase health and wellness through simple daily choices. The Commit to Fit! plan suggests 99 easy ways to better health, outlined in simple tools the community, businesses or your school can adopt and make their own. It also urges proper nutrition, hydration and rest as realistic ways to sneak healthy behaviors into your life. The campaign has quickly spread throughout the community’s employees, students, patients, customers, and congregations. To learn more visit the Commit to Fit! program page or visit us at commit2fit.com.
Additionally, the Health Improvement Steering Committee oversees a number of campaigns that work directly toward reducing sedentary lifestyles, improving nutritional choices, and increasing local resident’s community involvement and awareness of the social determinants of health. These projects include the Healthy Weight Collaborative, Commit to Fit! Smart Bites, Commit to Fit! Project Healthy Schools, and the Health Happens Here campaign. Please visit each program page to learn more!