Join in a movement to create healthier places to live, work and play! In Great Falls and other towns in Cascade County, policies, environments and systems shape health-related behaviors and decisions. Your involvement in this movement can have a positive impact on generations to come!
Imagine a community where your children can walk to school without the fear of congested traffic, where your neighborhood market always has fresh fruits and vegetables on hand and where you and your neighbors can meet at the local park, school, church or other facility for an afternoon of fun. This is possible in our community!
In January 2012, City-County Health Department (CCHD) was one of 15 communities chosen for the Action Communities for Health, Innovation and Environmental Change (ACHIEVE) program. The opportunity to become an ACHIEVE community is a chance for CCHD, working with other local groups like Get Fit Great Falls, to help prevent chronic disease in Cascade County. Several objectives and strategies have already been outlined in the Community Health Improvement Plan (PDF), the Downtown Master Plan (PDF) and various community employee wellness programs. Being an ACHIEVE community gives us the additional resources to accomplish all these goals.
Making it Happen
Members of the Community Health Action Response Team (CHART), who all live and work in our community, have plans in place to gather data about what changes local residents would like to see in their neighborhoods. This information will be used to create a Community Action Plan-our blueprint for making Great Falls and Cascade County a safer and healthier place to live. The process all takes place here: local data and information will drive local decisions and influence local policies for local positive change! In addition, CHART members will have the opportunity to receive training and valuable insight from community leaders from all parts of the country who have already implemented positive changes in their cities and towns.
Changes are necessary to ensure that our children do not live shorter lives than we do. Complete Streets and Joint Use Agreements are two efforts that are currently underway. Complete Streets ensure that travel corridors are safe and accessible for all users:
- Pedestrians of all ages
- Personal and public transit vehicles
Joint Use Agreements with organizations like Great Falls Public Schools and City Parks and Recreation will open athletic and recreational facilities to many more users. These efforts will result in long-term chronic disease prevention for Great Falls residents.
How to Learn More
To learn more, attend a Community Meeting that will be held on May 23rd from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the Benefis Health System South Tower, Cameron Auditorium. This is your opportunity to learn more about ACHIEVE and Complete Streets, find out how to get involved and give your feedback!
ACHIEVE funding will allow CCHD to work with the Get Fit Great Falls Coalition to move an important environmental change effort forward in our community: Complete Streets.
Learn more about the elements of Complete Streets (PDF).