In 2009, WilliamsonCountywas designated as an ACHIEVE (Action Communities for Health, Innovation, and EnVironmental changE) community by the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD). WilliamsonCountyand Cities Health District formed a community coalition to work on ACHIEVE activities.
About the Coalition
The WilCo Wellness Alliance was formed as a result ofWilliamsonCounty being designated an ACHIEVE community. Initially, the decision was made to focus the ACHIEVE initiative on one community inWilliamsonCounty – the City ofGeorgetown. Georgetown was selected as the pilot community due to its high level of community readiness and its relatively low score on the 2008 Heart and Stroke Healthy City Indicators Assessment distributed by the Texas Department of State Health Services. The WilCo Wellness Alliance has recently entered into its next phase of activities which is targetingEastWilliamsonCounty and includes the cities of Taylor, Hutto, Thrall, Granger, Coupland, andBartlett located inEastWilliamsonCounty.
Our vision is people living in a healthy, active, and tobacco-free environment.
Our mission is to empower the people of Williamson County to lead healthy lifestyles by promoting a safe environment through public and private initiatives.
The WilCo Wellness Alliance is made up of community organizations, government agencies, local businesses, healthcare organizations, schools, and community residents. Approximately 30 organizations currently make up the coalition.
The WilCo Wellness Alliance is currently working on the following specific community initiatives:
Be Healthy! Live Well!: Empowering the people of Williamson County to lead healthy lifestyles by promoting a safe environment through public and private initiatives.
Exercise is Medicine: Encourages health care providers to include exercise in their treatment plans for patients. Exercise is Medicine is committed to the belief that physical activity is integral to the prevention and treatment of disease and, as such, should be routinely assessed and prescribed in all medical care. Georgetown-focused initiative
Por Vida/For Life: Encourages local restaurants to increase their offerings of healthy menu items and promotes the selection of healthier menu items by diners. Por Vida/For Life provides support to restaurant owners including nutrition education, assistance with modifying menu items, and tools for promoting healthier menu items. Georgetown-focused initiative
Worksite Wellness: Provides employers with recommendations for policy and environmental changes that will benefit the health of employees. Assistance with the implementation of change strategies is provided as needed. Georgetown-focused initiative
Heart & Stroke Healthy City: Assesses cities on ten policy, systems, and environmental change indicators and then recognizes them for their role in reducing cardiovascular disease and stroke among residents. Developed by the Texas Council on Cardiovascular Disease & Stroke and the Cardiovascular Disease & Stroke Program at Texas Department of State Health Services. Georgetown-focused initiative
Faith-Based Community Gardens: Increases community access to nutritious foods through the building of community gardens on church properties and provides education on using gardens to support a healthy diet. Countywide initiative
Get Fit, Get Healthy, Get Movin’ (G3) School: Assesses current school policies and environments related to physical activity and nutrition and recommends strategies to improve these areas. An after-school nutrition and physical activity program for middle schools was also developed by this committee as a resource for this initiative. Countywide initiative
Produce in Convenience Stores: Increases access to fresh fruits and vegetables where grocery stores or other limitations are present. East Williamson County-focused initiative
WilCo Walking Trails: Encourages residents to utilize existing walking trails more frequently by adding enhancements such as beautification projects and signage (i.e., health education, Fit Trails). East Williamson County-focused initiative
Other Partnerships The WilCo Wellness Alliance works with our members and other coalitions and groups to address the needs and interests of theWilliamsonCounty community.
Williamson County Health Data Users Group (HDUG): Provides a venue for health data users from across the county to share their experiences and challenges using health data. Emphasis is placed on relevant local data driving local action. The ultimate measure of HDUG’s success will be less duplication of effort through increased collaboration and, ultimately, higher quality data.
ACHIEVE is a national initiative supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Healthy Communities Program in collaboration with NACDD, National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE), and YMCA of the USA.
WilliamsonCountywas one of 43 communities selected to participate in the ACHIEVE model in 2009. For more information about ACHIEVE please visit their website at www.achievecommunities.org.
Melissa Cammack, MS, CHES
WilCo Wellness Alliance Coordinator
100 West 3rd Street Georgetown, TX 78626
Phone: (512) 943-3667