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AHA improves the health and well-being of Wake County residents by facilitating and supporting community initiatives.

Making an Impact: AHA’s Work and the Healthiest Capital Counties Initiative

PrintWith 75 organizational partners and a strategic plan focused on increasing access to healthy foods and physical activity through our partnerships at the systems level, AHA works with other organizations in Wake County to make sustainable changes that affect what large numbers of people do. This approach, rather than an individual behavior change approach, is the foundation of AHA’s work.

Regina Petteway, Wake County Human Services Director

Regina Petteway, Wake County Human Services Director

Last month, the Healthiest Capital County Initiative (HCCI) gathered to hear collective impact expert Robert Albright of Collective Impact Forum, and nearly 120 community leaders had the opportunity to hear from the lead organizations on this initiative.

The Robert Wood Johnson health indicators include about 30 measures, and of those, “food environment index,” physical inactivity, and adult obesity are three of six chosen by HCCI leaders over an 18-month process. AHA is leading on those three indicators, with support from the YMCA of the Triangle.

Youth Thrive is leading on youth risk behaviors and high school graduation rates, and United Way of the Triangle and Wake County SmartStart are leading on child poverty.

This is a wonderful opportunity to raise the level of our work, and bring in more and different partners to advance our common goals for this community.

Take Part in Making Change

In addition to inviting everyone to the table, AHA is looking at potentially adding a new AHA work group focusing on “Health in All Policies,” which Richmond, CA, City Manager Bill Lindsay addressed here in Wake County in August. AHA partners and others are invited to contact AHA at if you have an interest in participating in such a work group.  Here are some ways to engage with AHA. If you see something that sparks your interest beyond your current engagement, please join us!

AHA welcomes partners and interested individuals to its work group meetings and Quarterly Partnership Meetings to learn more about AHA and to engage in our policy, systems and environment change (PSE) work. Information about the work groups, current updates and upcoming meetings are below. Contact Michele McKinley at for information about attending any of these meetings.

AHA Quarterly Partnership Meeting:         
Fri., Dec 4, 8:30-10:30 am, YMCA of the Triangle, 801 Corporate Center Dr., Suite 200, Raleigh; Local Food Access & Systems Change:  Farm to Child Care
RSVP by Nov. 30

AHA Community Connections Work Group Meeting:
Wed., Dec. 2, 9-10:30 am, YMCA of the Triangle, Raleigh

Eastern Wake AHA Work Group Meeting:
Jan. 15, 9 am, Wendell

Dig In, AHA’s 7th Annual Urban Agriculture and Community Gardens Conference
March 12, 2016, 8:30 am-1 pm, Marbles Kids Museum, Raleigh

AHA Healthy Schools Awards Ceremony
April 29, 2012, 10 am-12 pm

AHA Updates

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