Building a Culture of Health

Building a culture of health takes a community approach with an understanding that not everyone has an equal opportunity to be healthy. Complex factors such as where we live, how much money we make or discrimination we face can constrain the potential for good health.

10 Principles For a Culture of Health

  • Good health flourishes across geographic, demographic, and social sectors
  • Attaining the best health possible is valued by our entire society
  • Individuals and families have the means and the opportunity to make choices that lead to the healthiest lives possible
  • Business, government, individuals, and organizations work together to build healthy communities and lifestyles
  • No one is excluded
  • Everyone has access to affordable, quality health care because it is essential to maintain, or reclaim, health
  • Health care is efficient and equitable
  • The economy is less burdened by excessive and unwarranted health care spending
  • Keeping everyone as healthy as possible guides public and private descision-making
  • Americans understand that we are all in this together

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

In order to create a culture of health, we must have a basic understanding of our community's health needs. In 2019, Summit Health and Healthy Franklin County completed a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) which identifies the primary health needs and issues of the residents of Franklin County. The CHNA is used to create a community health improvement plan (CHIP), which guides the implementation of health strategies over the next three years. 

The findings from the CHNA shined a light on the significance of the social determinants of health and how they affect the health of Franklin County residents. Economic hardship, health access, stress and social isolation and discrimination indicators are underlying components which must be considered when trying to understand residents’ health conditions. 2 in 3 residents are affected by one or more social determinants of health.

Social Determinant Factors

Health Needs of Community

To find out more about the health needs of the community, see below.

Moving Forward – Together

Residents and community health stakeholders attended a Community Health Summit on June 5, 2019, to better understand barriers to health and to discuss ways to collaborate to address them. To get up to speed about the CHNA process, data, building a culture of health and how other communities are working together to improve health, view presentations (videos and powerpoints) from key presenters.

Ann Spottswood, Director of Community Services for WellSpan/Summit Health provided an introduction to the Healthy Franklin County initiative and an overview of the CHNA process.

Berwood Yost, Director of the Floyd Institute Center for Opinion Research and Director of the Floyd Institute for Public Policy at Franklin and Marshall College, presented the primary data survey information, research on secondary data for the CHNA and the key findings of the data.

Beth Toner, Senior Communications Officer for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, gave a keynote presentation about the importance of health equity, social justice and how to build a culture of health.

A panel discussion with Robert Stephens, Health Officer for Garrett County, Maryland and Jennifer Koppel, Executive Director of the Lancaster Coalition to End Homelessness was facilitated by Beth Toner. Both Robert and Jennifer shared their experiences with working with community partners and policy-makers to improve the health of their communities.

Event participants shared why they attended the health summit.

Healthy Equity

Central to building a culture of health is health equity. According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, health equity means that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. This requires removing systemic barriers such as poverty, discrimination, and their consequences, including powerlessness and lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality education and housing, safe environments, and health care.

Health Equity Challenge

Individuals, businesses and organizations can all influence the health and well-being of Franklin County residents. One way to start is to learn more about health equity. Gaining a better understanding of health equity can spur discussions and about how policy changes – at the organization and community levels – can lead to improved prospects for living a healthier life. Find an accountability partner and take the health equity challenge together!

Take the Challenge! Share Your Feedback!

Health Equity in Action

We want you to share your experiences, ideas and thoughts with others who are working to improve health equity in Franklin County. We all have the power to make change. It can be overwhelming trying to figure out where to start. Start with who and what you know. Talk to your friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Start conversations in your school, neighborhood, workplace or clubs that you are involved with.

"Access to effective, prompt and affordable health care should be the right of any individual regardless of race and/or socio-economic status. Anyone working in human service fields such as education, health, social work, etc. is called upon to make sure that all individuals have access to information and resources regarding health and health care."

Jose Ricardo