Community Health Coalitions


Indiana ranked 38thin the nation in overall health in 2017. Of particular concern are health concerns such as drug use, mental health, tobacco use, infant mortality, obesity, diabetes, and physical inactivity. 

In order to address health concerns on a community level, organizations have been coming together to form local Community Health Coalitions to address health needs in their communities. In addition, coalitions can be a means of conserving and utilizing resources more efficiently, and a powerful vehicle in impacting health though policy, systems and environmental changes.

Purdue Extension, HHS and Purdue Extension, Community Development, play a major role in connecting the community through partnerships and coalitions to impact health throughout the state of Indiana.

Well Connected Communities is a nationwide effort to cultivate wellness led by America’s Cooperative Extension System (in partnership with National 4-H Council) with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) strives to foster a Culture of Health in America. 

WCC aims to improve the health of 1,000 communities across the nation over the next 10 years. Purdue is one of the 13 pilot states for Wave One (2017-19). In Indiana, the focus will be on 3 communities –Scott, Gibson and Fayette.

Key components of this initiative include development of or strengthening of community led coalitions/health councils; engaging youth as equal partners in these coalitions; addressing issues of health equity; and, establishing youth and adult health/wellness volunteers.

  • Coalitions are present in at least 60 Indiana counties. 
  • At least 24 counties received funding for community based health programming as a result of Purdue Extension participation. 
  • Over $730,000 dollars was received by those community coalitions.  
  • 50 Purdue Extension educators served as leaders of their coalition or its subcommittees
  • 23 health policies, 30 health related systems and 22 environmental strategues were changed or created due to community health coalition involvement

For more information, contact Donna Vandergraff, dvanderg@purdue.edu