Improving the Health of Barry County
The B. Healthy Coalition was formed in April of 2012 as a result of the Community Health Needs Assessment, which found obesity prevention as one of the community health needs in Barry County. This coalition is a partnership among Pennock Health Services and the Barry-Eaton District Health Department and involves community participation from a variety of supporters.
The overarching goal of the B.Healthy Coalition is to reduce the obesity rate among Barry County residents to be at or lower than State of Michigan average according to the County Health rankings. Through a focus on policy and environmental change the B. Healthy coalition has an aim to make the “healthy choice the easy choice,” and to increase awareness of a healthy lifestyle and how that helps to support and promote overall physical and mental health. The B.Healthy Coalition has been meeting monthly since April 2012 to assess the factors that lead to obesity in Barry County, as well as develop a shared vision of a community that prevents obesity. The coalition’s plan for intervention uses a broad set of evidence-based prevention strategies that take into consideration health disparities related to obesity in Barry County to assure a multifaceted and comprehensive approach to obesity prevention for the entire community.
We realize that obesity can be influenced by multiple factors, including those at the individual level as well as those at the community level. We know that we must choose interventions that have the greatest population impact and are the most likely to be sustained.
The B.Healthy Coalition used the Health Impact Pyramid to help guide the action planning process. According to Thomas R. Frieden of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the second tier of the pyramid represents interventions that change the environmental context to make healthy options the default choice, regardless of education, income, service provision, or other societal factors. The defining characteristic of this tier of intervention is that individuals would have to expend significant effort not to benefit from them.
The mission of the B. Healthy Coalition is to foster an active, healthy community by creating policy and environmental changes that make the healthy choice the easy choice for all Barry County residents.
The vision of the B. Healthy Coalition is for Barry County to become the healthiest rural county in Michigan.