Healthy West Chicago (HWC), a collaboration of community leaders in local government, education, healthcare, social services, faith-based congregations, businesses, and non-profit organizations which have organized to increase nutrition and physical activity in West Chicago, recently celebrated a milestone with the publication of the HWC Community Action Plan.
The Plan, developed by Seven Generation Ahead, a local healthy and sustainable communities non-profit organization, incorporated broad-based community outreach including: regular meetings of the HWC collaborative, a citywide community survey, and a variety of forums with specific sector groups, organizations, technical experts, and the community at large, to develop the Plan’s core strategies. The document, funded by a grant from Northwestern Medicine (formerly Cadence Health), with supplemental support from WeGo Together for Kids through their partnership with the United Way Neighborhood Network, outlines realistic, innovative, and clear policies and strategies to support West Chicago’s goal of becoming a healthier community. The HWC Community Action Plan is now available on the City’s website, www.westchicago.org.
The Plan cites some of the reasons for a national decline in health in recent years, “Changes to the design of communities, healthy food access, built environments, and the prevalence of cheap, processed foods have altered the American lifestyle and the picture of health within our country. As a result, we are now a nation of people who are less physically active and who eat less nutritious foods.” The Plan goes on to state that West Chicago is no exception to these changes. Healthy West Chicago seeks to reverse these trends and make West Chicago one of the healthiest communities in the region. This shift will encourage changes in the way people live, work and play in West Chicago, as well as community-wide collaboration, to make the healthy choice the easy choice.
“Our road map is ready”, said West Chicago Mayor Ruben Pineda. “The completion of the Healthy West Chicago Action Plan is a milestone in the journey we began almost two years ago. We are excited about the future, and all the prospects it holds for the health and sustainability of our community.”
Healthy West Chicago Community Action Plan 2015 – pdf 5.65 MB