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

Communities play an important role in every aspect of our lives.  Healthy and growing communities represent the very essence of sustainability. When community members can rely on each other and are working together with common goals, individuals become healthier and stronger, and more are able to give their best.  Support for better health can be physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and even social.  When communities contain healthy individuals, they make a healthy community.

Established by Health.gov, “Healthy People 2030” report includes objectives that highlight how the social determinants of health (SODH) impact people’s health. The SODH are grouped into five categories. These include economic stability, education access and quality, health care access and quality, neighborhood and built environment, and social and community context, which have a major impact on health, well-being, and quality of life.  Negative influences on SODH can also contribute to a wide range of health disparities and inequities. For example, if access to healthy food is limited within a certain community, the risk of health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity can increase.  Simply promoting healthy choices won't eliminate these and other health disparities. Instead, public health organizations and their partners need to take action to improve the conditions in people's environments.

The Healthiest Communities rankings from U.S. News & World Report in 2021 shows how nearly 3,000 U.S. counties and county equivalents perform in metrics across health and health-related categories.  Broward County’s Overall Population Health Score was 63 out of 100.  The population health category assesses access to care, healthy behaviors, health conditions, mental health and resulting health outcomes. In the category of Food and Nutrition, Broward’s score was 60 out of 100 measuring the availability and use of healthy foods in a community, as well as the prevalence of chronic diseases that have been linked to poor nutrition.  According to Broward County 2021 Community Health Needs Assessment, 20.8% of Broward County adults find it “very” or “somewhat” difficult to access affordable fresh fruits and vegetables.  However, there is a higher disparity of 31.5% average among female respondents, young adults, low-income respondents, black residents, and Caribbean residents.

In the category for Environment, Broward scored 40 out of 100 measuring the health of a community’s natural surroundings by including measures of air and water quality, access to parks and natural amenities, and environmental risks.  Environmental factors can improve with projects such as planting inland trees to increase greenery in cities which counteract rising temperatures and provides cleaner air, to increasing solar panel usage to create more energy-efficient homes and businesses.

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.

  • Physical Health
    • Create social and physical environments that promote good health for all ages.
    • Provide structured physical activity that is easily accessible to residents and takes place over an eight-month or longer time period.
    • Promote programs addressing chronic disease prevention and intervention.
  • Mental Health
    • 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.
  • Food and Nutrition
    • 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.
  • Environmental Education and Sustainability
    • 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.
    • Education programs for youth and adults.

OUR IMPACT

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.

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