Our Culture of Health Is Just Beginning

On Friday, September 26, Buncombe County folks will be celebrating! The celebration is for our Culture of Health. Come to Kimmel Arena at UNC Asheville at 4 p.m. to not only celebrate, but learn more about what many individuals and groups are doing collectively to improve the health of all our residents.


Placing a Priority on Health

Boy with FootballThe Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Culture of Health Prize “honors communities which place a high priority on health and bring partners together to drive local change.” Buncombe County was one of six communities to win this prize in 2014 — that’s pretty significant given the competition around the country. But we earned this prize and we will take it to the next level as we measure the success of creating a healthier community. Check out the RWJF site for more details of our community’s Culture of Health Prize.

Take a look at the Community Health Improvement Plan for Buncombe County and the connections to our United Way priorities for Health and Education.

Buncombe County CHIP Plan Outline United Way Community-Level Results
Healthy Living (physical activity, healthy eating and healthy weight) People have increased awareness of and opportunities for wellness, prevention and early detection.
Tobacco Prevention and Cessation
Preconception Health
Early Childhood Development Children from birth to kindergarten attend high quality, affordable early care and education programs.
Parents and caregivers enhance their support of the development of children from birth to kindergarten.
Access to Care People increase their use of effective primary, behavioral and dental health care regardless of ability to pay.

This is Just the Beginning

Water AerobicsMany of the current efforts to improve health in the directions noted above are offered through a variety of groups working together — and a number of those are funded in part by United Way, Buncombe County and Mission Health. It was because of our collective efforts that we won the prize and it will be because of our continued collaborative work that we will see large scale improvements in the health of our residents. Significant change can only happen when lots of people direct their energies to that needed change.

Overall, people in Buncombe County don’t get enough exercise, don’t eat well, and are overweight. Too many of us smoke, which causes a wide range of health problems. Too many pregnancies lead to premature birth, low birth weight and other complications. Too many of our children aren’t ready to be successful in school, which reduces their chances for a healthy life. Too many of us have difficulty getting to a doctor, dentist or psychologist when we need one.

Amazing progress has been made on every front and we can’t stop now.

Great Things Happen When We LIVE UNITED

Baby Eating AppleThe Robert Wood Johnson Foundation states, “Building a Culture of Health means building a society where getting healthy and staying healthy is a fundamental and guiding social value that helps define American culture.” And our local health director, Gibbie Harris, noted that in Buncombe County, “we have people who are interested in social justice, and a desire to improve the lives of our friends and neighbors.” This is what drives so many people to work together: helping each other, or, LIVING UNITED.

Please join the Buncombe County Health Advisory Council and many others who made this Prize possible on Friday, September 26th from 4 to 6 p.m. at Kimmel Arena on UNC Asheville's campus.


How You Can Live United