Healthy & Thriving Communities
Improve health equity and well-being in Broward by building a culture of health across all populations and communities, while also creating a resilient and sustainable environment.
Why It Matters
Community plays a vital role in every aspect of our lives. Healthy and growing communities represent the very essence of sustainability – optimal health results from positive physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social support. Community members who can rely on each other and work together toward fulfilling those supports are healthier, stronger and better equipped for success overall. Because of this collective support, communities flourish.
Health.gov’s “Healthy People 2030” report outlines five social determinants of health (SDOH) domains: economic stability, education access and quality, health care access and quality, neighborhood and built environment, and social and community context. These factors significantly impact health, well-being and quality of life. Negative impacts on SDOH contribute to various health disparities and inequities. For example, limited access to healthy food within a community can increase the prevalence of heart disease, diabetes and obesity. In this situation, an inadequately built environment impedes the effectiveness of health messaging promoting positive behavior change because the opportunity to adopt those healthier behaviors comes with barriers to success. Leaders with the power to enforce change are crucial in turning the curve on factors influencing SDOH for Broward residents.
The 2022 Healthiest Communities rankings from U.S. News & World Report scores population health in terms of access to care, healthy behaviors, health conditions, mental health and resulting health outcomes. Broward County’s overall population health score was 59 out of 100. In the food and nutrition category, Broward scored 64% for the availability and use of healthy foods and the prevalence of chronic diseases linked to poor nutrition. According to the Broward County 2023 Community Health Needs Assessment, 20.8% of Broward County adults found it “very” or “somewhat” difficult to access affordable fresh fruits and vegetables. However, there is a higher average disparity rate of 31.5% among female respondents, young adults, low-income respondents and Black and Caribbean residents.
Additionally, when measuring the environmental health of natural surroundings in our county (air and water quality, access to parks and natural amenities, and environmental risks), Broward scored worse at 25%, down 15% from 2021. Projects addressing ecological factors like using solar panels (to create more energy-efficient homes and businesses) and planting inland trees (to increase greenery, counter rising temperatures, and provide cleaner air) are necessary to cultivate healthy and thriving communities.
What We Are Looking For
The Community Foundation of Broward supports programs and initiatives for healthy communities across Broward that achieve better outcomes in all areas of health and environmental education and sustainability across all populations and age groups.
- Create social and physical environments that promote and improve good health outcomes for all ages.
- Provide structured physical activity that is easily accessible to residents and addresses chronic disease prevention and intervention.
- Create programs that will reduce health disparities, promote health literacy and health equity.
- Reduce stigma regarding mental health and normalize seeking help and self-care.
- Increase access to mental health services in low-income communities.
- Provide innovative outlets and resources for continued mental health support.
- Reduce household food insecurity and hunger.
- Promote healthy eating habits that inspire residents to take charge of their health.
- Build long-term capacity of communities to increase access to fresher, more nutritious food supplies.
- Promote environmental health programs and interventions.
- Reduce the amount of toxic pollutants released into the environment.
- Support habitat protection, coastal resilience, water quality, energy efficiency, environmental outreach and more.
- Raise awareness about climate change and encourage actions for making our community more resilient.
The Foundation’s support for the implementation of the South Florida Community Health Hub combines 36+ partners and stakeholders including grassroots, faith-based organizations, municipalities, hospitals, and others to develop the mission, vision, and goals for a collaboration that will help the local community address health needs.
The Foundation also teamed up with the Museum of Discovery and Science to launch a Broward Eco Hub for Resiliency Education in 2022. A three-year grant will champion community engagement, education and action for environmental sustainability and resiliency in Broward.