HEALTHY COMMUNITIES – HEALTHY LIVING
For the past 8 years MATRIX has worked in multiple communities around the world as Health Advisors to local, regional, state, and national governments on strategies to improve the health and well-being of their citizens. In our Community Interventions for Health (CIH) work we have developed strategies for assessing the strengths and challenges that individuals and communities face given lifestyle challenges of the 21st century. We have developed innovative approaches to determine the ‘health profile’ of a community that is both scientific and practical for policy makers and advocacy groups. We can assess the health of individuals, workplaces, schools, health care providers and the broader community.
Our comprehensive approach involves understanding a community in terms of where people live, learn, play, work, shop, eat and sleep – taking into account both barriers and facilitators to healthy living. Our focus is on the natural and built environments that we interface with on a daily basis and our strategies include swinging the pendulum from ‘risky’ health behaviors to positive health overall.
We assess, analyze and design better communities for healthy living. The steps that we take include:
- Environmental scans of communities (i.e. taking a bird’s eye view down to the ground level to assess opportunities for healthy living including an analysis of where people shop, eat, work, learn and play). This step involves extensive community mapping exercises.
- Create healthy community profiles based on the environmental scan, policy reviews, interviews with leading community stakeholders.
- Create plans of action for improving community profiles created above – by working with policy makers, community residents, stakeholders in industry and government – in a manner that is cost-effective, results driven and sustainable.
- Establish a feedback loop so that there is continuous monitoring and improvement.
Our target audience for improving the health and well-being of our communities include, but are not limited to:
- community residents
- community activities
- policy makers
- government officials
- private business owners/managers
- non-governmental organizations
These strategies are equally relevant to small and large communities, corporations, local and/or regional and national governments. Please contact us directly to learn more about how to improve the health of your community/organization/country.