Helping Residents Improve Their Overall Well Being Through Successful Health and Wellness Initiatives
be well is the major health and wellness initiative of The Foundation for Sustainable Urban Communities. It is a collection of innovative, grassroots programs that connect neighbors to neighbors, neighbors to healthcare, fitness and nutrition resources.
be well works to provide measurable and visible improvements in health and wellness of residents in six Denver and Aurora neighborhoods: Central Park, Northwest Aurora, East Montclair, Montbello, Greater Park Hill and Northeast Park Hill.
The mission of be well is to influence programs, policies and practices to create health equality and access for all people. be well’s vision is for a culture in which all people have an equal opportunity to achieve the health they desire, regardless of their race, income, gender, location, education or other social barrier.
be well is guided by the nine-member Healthy Neighborhoods Council, the resident group that is the guiding voice of the be well Health and a Wellness Initiative. Representatives are identified by their respective neighborhood organizations or are elected by current Council members. The group talks with people in their neighborhoods, sets annual goals, identifies potential barriers and monitors the use of be well funds.
Key Priorities of the be well Health and Wellness Initiative:
Grassroots Participation: A core component of the be well model is the belief that community members are more likely to sustain healthy living practices and maintain their involvement in community issues when they are mobilized through grassroots participation and community building efforts.
Health Promotion: The promotion of behaviors that advance wellness is essential to encouraging healthy lifestyles. be well engages residents and community stakeholders in the development, implementation and assessment of health promotion strategies to improve the health of individuals and communities. be well also educates and builds awareness around the social determinants of health using training and information dissemination.
Health Policy Education: Understanding how policy and systems impact the health of individuals and neighborhoods is vital to creating healthy communities. The be well Health and Wellness Initiative incorporates policy-related projects into its activities. be well educates community members on health policy and systems through information, forums and trainings. This includes collecting data on proposed changes to the built environment, spreading awareness about proposed policies that could impact health and informing residents of community engagement processes to make decisions.