What can communities do?
Communities can take an active role in reducing the impact
of cardiovascular disease and its risk factors. The OHC encourages
communities to adopt evidence-based strategies. Below are some ideas for
communities to consider when addressing cardiovascular disease.
Improve access to appropriate care. Building a community that supports individuals to access the
right care at the right time is critical. Efforts can focus on reducing
barriers to care, improved referrals between community organizations, enhancing
the healthcare workforce, and advocating for change that positively increases access to appropriate care.
Reduce tobacco use. Communities can take multiple actions to decrease the impact
of tobacco use. Developing, implementing, and connecting people to
smoking cessation programs can provide timely support for individuals seeking
to quit. Implementing public policies, such as clean indoor air and
raising the legal age to purchase tobacco, can limit access and exposure to
Improve active living and healthy eating. Increasing individuals’ access to opportunities to be active
and eat healthy are effective approaches to improving health. Efforts can
focus on community programming to increase individual engagement in healthy
living. Communities can also focus on building improved access to healthy
living through efforts such as Complete Streets, increased access to active
spaces like parks and greenways, and reducing food insecurity.
Focus on vulnerable populations. Some groups
within a community may be more susceptible to cardiovascular disease or its
effects. Communities should examine potentially vulnerable populations
such as children, the poor, and certain racial groups. If disparities
exist, community partners should determine appropriate approaches.
To see what our community is doing about this health priority and what progress has been made, view our Community Health Improvement Plan: