April 25, 2018 – Nicole Carkner, Executive Director of Quad City Health Initiative(QCHI), reported that QCHI has provided the planning and communications backbone to enable cross sector community health improvement in the Quad Cities for nearly 20 years.  With the financial support of its founding sponsors Genesis Health System and UnityPoint Health-Trinity, and other partners, QCHI has built an infrastructure that currently harnesses the collective work of more than 120 volunteers from 60 organizations and reaches thousands of community members.

The Be Healthy QC Coalition was formed with members from Bi-State, local cities, Community Health Care, Deere & Company, health systems, school districts, the Quad City Medical Society, county health departments, social service agencies including United Way, and the YMCAs to address issues that could improve community health.  Activities include promoting worksite wellness programs/policies; school wellness policies; nutrition and physical activity interventions in preschools and childcares; the number of people who have primary care physician driven medical homes; a built environment that supports active living; and access to healthy foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables.  The Partnerships to Improve Community Health grant was recently completed and included activities to enhance comprehensive school wellness with a focus on healthy food, creating Safe Routes to School travel plans, establishing neighborhood gardens and distribution centers, and developing the interactive trails web site QCTrails.org.

The Quad Cities excels at developing cross-sector partnerships and building collective impact as a region.  The Quad City Health Initiative board partners include representatives from the business, healthcare, education, public health, government, community, and philanthropic sectors.  Bi-State and local governments as well as county health departments have seats on the board.  To assess progress of the core mission of the Quad City Health Initiative, partners have identified key Nutrition, Physical Activity & Weight Indicators from the 2015 Community Health Assessment.  The 2018 Community Health Assessment has begun and will be available in the fall.  Additional areas of focus are on mental health, person centered care, tobacco use, and lead abatement.