A healthy community extends well beyond adequately caring for those who are sick. A healthy community supports healthy choices and lifestyles and proactively addresses health problems such as teen pregnancy, substance abuse and disease. Healthy communities also attend to the needs of those who are most vulnerable– people in poverty, babies and young children, the elderly and people with disabilities – making sure that all residents have the ability to live up to their potential.
Citizens voiced a range of concerns about the health in and of New River Valley communities. While there are several good health care facilities throughout the region, access is not evenly distributed, and the cost of health care is more than many families can afford. Too many of the region’s children are living in poverty and are not able to access early childhood development opportunities. There are worries over high levels of teen pregnancy and substance abuse, and in many areas there is limited access to healthy foods and access to safe walking and
Citizens felt strongly about the need to ensure future access to clean and high quality water for all residents. They also prioritized expanding individual and community choices about food, fitness, work and play. They valued promoting healthy behaviors and community-based initiatives that prevent and reduce the burden of chronic conditions and disease, and supported improvements to community health including reduced rates of teen pregnancy and substance abuse.