The Wellness Council of Indiana (WCI) recently honored two Indiana communities as Indiana Healthy Community Initiative designees. The designations are the first for the WCI program, which began earlier this year.
Hancock County and Muncie-Delaware County were awarded the title at the 2016 Indiana Health and Wellness Summit September 21-22 in downtown Indianapolis. The annual summit is the largest gathering of wellness professionals in Indiana, and was presented in partnership with the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, the Wellness Council of Indiana, the Indiana State Department of Health, INShape Indiana and the American Diabetes Association.
To be considered an Indiana Healthy Community, communities must apply to the WCI and meet eight key components, including working with various community leaders, getting citizens involved, analyzing political atmospheres and ensuring environments are best for making healthy choices. Part of the requirements include having a certain number of businesses certified as AchieveWELL companies, a WCI designation for individual organizations (see AchieveWELL information and list below).
Additionally, community leaders identify short-term and long-term strategies to ensure a healthy community for all citizens. WCI representatives assist communities in providing best practices for achieving community goals.
“The premise of the Indiana Healthy Community Initiative is to drive economic growth and development for communities, so that when companies want to relocate or start in Indiana, they’re looking at communities where health is a priority,” WCI Executive Director Chuck Gillespie says.
“And in these areas – like in Delaware and Hancock counties – what companies will find are healthier employees and families, lower insurance costs and a productive workforce.”
Six other counties – Putnam, Howard, Dubois, Kosciusko, Monroe and Hendricks – are all in various stages of involvement with the Indiana Healthy Community Initiative.
Locations interested in becoming Indiana Healthy Communities can visit the WCI web site (Healthy Communities tab) for more information and to apply.
The Wellness Council of Indiana is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.