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AHA fosters and supports community efforts to make healthy eating and physical activity the way of life in Wake County.

Perspectives: June 2016

Sara Merz, Director

Sara Merz, AHA Director

There’s a lot of talk locally about collective impact, a healthier Wake County and how we do this as a united community. Especially since AHA’s discussion in April with Wake County leaders about Live Well San Diego and San Diego’s county-wide health work, AHA is being approached and asked to lead at a higher level. We’re doing capacity building work currently and planning our next steps—it’s an exciting time.

There is a great opportunity to bring multiple fantastic initiatives together and clarify our collective messaging. The Community Health Needs Assessment (CNHA) process, led by the 3 hospitals and Wake County, is nearing completion. It is in alignment with AHA’s work – as is the last assessment, conducted three years ago.

As Donald Gintzig, CEO of WakeMed, said at the June 3 CHNA Steering Committee meeting, when the data comes out on Wake County indicators, “We always look good. But we can do even better,” which would improve quality of life for all residents.

cropped WC health assement june 2016

Wake County CHNA Steering Committee

The Healthiest Capital County concept, initiated by Wake County, where AHA is point on physical activity and healthy eating, is also in alignment with this. The mental health systems change, led by Alice Lutz of Triangle Family Services together with Wake County, is another piece of this work – we know from the data that when mental health improves, so does physical health. And when physical health improves, so does mental health.

We’re eager to move forward together and will continue to engage our partners in discussion about the next steps.

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