Under the guidance of Dr. Nancy Welch, the Chesapeake Health Department Director, a discussion began in late summer 2015. Representatives from the City, Health Department, Eastern Virginia Medical School, and Chesapeake Regional Medical Center began to address the declining health conditions in our community. This working group invited agencies and service providers to an event on September 16, 2015. The purpose of the meeting was to determine if there was a need to develop a community coalition.
Dr. Welch presented an overview of our challenges and challenges. She encouraged everyone to focus on the issues given by Mayor Alan Krasnoff. At this time, the Healthy Chesapeake initiative was officially launched. The launch was followed by an intensive retreat on November 20, 2015. The retreat included agencies, businesses, and citizens who wanted to participate in this new community initiative. The group established guiding tenants including the vision, mission, and values for the Healthy Chesapeake Coalition.
A second planning retreat was held on January 29, 2016, where work continued on the Coalition’s strategic plan. The plan laid the groundwork for what eventually became a Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). This plan provides strategic direction for the Coalition’s efforts to improve health. Four work teams began meeting regularly to devise and implement community based activities. For more information, please read about each program in our focus area.
In conjunction with the development of the Coalition, Healthy Chesapeake, Inc., became a reality. Healthy Chesapeake, Inc. is a 501(c)3 organization that operates in support of the Coalition and other partners, programs, initiatives, etc. The Board meets monthly and is taking an active role in the development and direction of Healthy Chesapeake.
Values / Philosophy
Healthy Chesapeake embraces the philosophy that there are many factors that affect an individual’s health. We focus on the four key factors that are used to determine our community health, which are measured by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
These four key areas (determinants) include:
- Health Behaviors
- Clinical Care
- Social and Economic
- Physical Environment
This ideology is recognized both nationally and internationally. It is commonly labeled the social determinants of health. The belief that these social determinants are factors that must all be addressed is an important tenant for the program development and implementation of Healthy Chesapeake. We are committed to addressing these social determinants through our focus areas. Healthy Chesapeake named it’s focus areas Active Lifestyles, Healthy Eating, Behavioral Health, and an Ambassador program.
We have expanded our efforts through the development of SPARK and our Family Planning, Diabetes, and Hypertension Clinic. As we grow our Coalition and other resources, we will continue to expand our efforts. It’s very important that we work collaboratively to ensure that Chesapeake will be a city where all its citizens have the opportunity to make healthy choices. Additionally, Healthy Chesapeake, Inc. operates in a participatory manner where diverse groups work collaboratively to drive our priorities and comprehensive view of health. Then, community members may pursue the best health possible. Our priority is working with people and neighborhoods that are at the highest ranking within the 2014 Neighborhood Quality of Life Study. These neighborhoods and residents are typically experiencing higher levels of poverty and crime, lower levels of home ownership, and/or other economic challenges. While our goal is to work city-wide, these neighborhoods are our highest priority.
Assist Chesapeake in becoming the Healthiest City in the Healthiest State in accordance with the following objectives.
- Create a Comprehensive Healthy Community Action Plan (CAP) that addresses the social determinant challenges as identified by recent assessments.
- Establish our Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP).
- Facilitate collaborations between the our citizens, government, businesses, and other agencies.
- Provide resources for citizens, government, businesses, and non-profit agencies.
- Provide ideas, actions, and solutions to health and quality of life issues addressed in the Community Action Plan.
- Document and disseminate best practices for local consideration.
- Provide awareness of services, programs, and other activities supporting a healthy Chesapeake.
- Analyze effectiveness and report outcomes of projects, initiatives, and efforts, etc. undertaken in Chesapeake through support from Healthy Chesapeake.