Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness CEO Richard Johnson today designated 22 communities as Healthier Tennessee Communities. The recognition honors Anderson, Bedford, Benton, Bledsoe, Cumberland, DeKalb, Giles, Grundy, Hamblen, Hardeman, Henderson, Houston, Lake, Marshall, McNairy, Obion, Roane, Sevier, Tipton, Trousdale and Unicoi counties and the city of Spring Hill for their successful work to improve the health of their citizens.
Representatives from the communities traveled to Nashville to participate in the designation ceremony.
“We must continue to encourage and enable community-led efforts like the ones we’re celebrating today if we want to improve the health and quality of life of Tennesseans,” Haslam said. “I congratulate these communities on their efforts to improve the health of their citizens.”
The Healthier Tennessee Communities initiative takes a grassroots approach to improving Tennesseans’ health by engaging citizens and local leaders in cities, towns, counties, neighborhoods and college campuses across the state. To be designated, the communities established wellness councils and developed sustainable community-wide events and activities that support physical activity, healthy eating and tobacco abstinence. They then tracked and measured outputs and accomplishments of the programs.
“These communities understand the importance of health and wellness and are working to make it an integral part of life in their cities and counties,” Johnson said. “As we continue to do this, community by community, we will make this a healthier Tennessee.”
The Foundation launched the Healthier Tennessee Communities initiative in March 2015 with nine pilot communities. Today, more than 100 communities, neighborhoods and college campuses are engaged with the program and 46 have already received the designation.