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Communities across the nation are using a variety of change models and planning processes to work together to achieve their vision of improved health. Regardless of the approaches taken to meet their challenges, the most successful initiatives are guided by the following principles:
A broad definition of “health”
Health is not simply the absence of disease. It is defined broadly to include the full range of quality of life issues. It recognizes that most of what creates health is lifestyle and behavior related. Other major factors include genetic endowment, and the environment as defined by socioeconomic, cultural and physical factors. Health is a by-product of a wide array of choices and factors - not simply the result of a medical care intervention.
A broad definition of “community”
Using a broad definition of what makes up a community, individuals and partnerships can address their shared issues in the most fruitful way possible. Communities can be based on faith, perspective, land, and profession, as well as being determined by geographic lines.
Shared vision from community values
A community’s vision is the story of its desired future. To be powerful and inspiring, it should reflect the core values of its diverse members. A vision is not just a statement on the wall - it is a living expression of shared accountability to priorities.