Planning for Health Equity in Appalachia

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Residents know firsthand about how to improve the communities where they live. Yet local leaders may not always have the information they require to best respond to community needs. When it comes to improving health equity, partnerships between community institutions are often best situated to create long-lasting solutions.

ChangeLab Solutions partnered with Roanoke College, Freedom First Credit Union, and Roanoke’s city planning department to help ensure that equity and health considerations are woven into the City of Roanoke’s comprehensive plan for the next 20 years of growth and development. As a result, the city’s policy process now reflects the perceptions and needs of community members.

“It’s amazing what happens when the community, local institutions, and city government are pulling together in the same direction," said Dr. Liz Ackley, director of the Center for Community Health Innovation at Roanoke College. "In Roanoke, we are well positioned to become a healthier, more equitable community as a result of partnerships like this.”

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