August 27, 2014 – Nicole Carkner, Executive Director of the Quad City Health Initiative (QCHI), noted the organization has provided the planning and communications backbone to enable cross sector community health improvement in the Quad Cities for over 15 years.  Formed as a community collaborative in 1999, QCHI’s mission “to create a healthy community” is rooted in a model of action that acknowledges the social determinants of health and the interrelationships between health status, health behaviors, access to care, education, employment, income, safety, and the physical environment.  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 Quad Cities excels at developing cross-sector partnerships and building a collective impact as a region.  The Quad City Health Initiative has created a board that is representative of the community’s economic and social sectors.  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 2012 Community Health Assessment.  Many of these are self-reported from individuals and include data such as:

  • 41.4% eat 5+ servings of fruit or vegetables per day
  • 34.2% consumed 4+ meals away from home/past week
  • 26.1% Healthy Weight
  • 71.8% Overweight of which 33.5% Obese
  • 20.9% medical advice on weight in past year
  • 25.5% overweight counseled; 42.5% obese counseled
  • 38.7% children overweight; 22.4% children obese
  • 2.4% prevalence of eating disorders
  • 33.3% no leisure time physical activity
  • 39.2% meeting physical activity guidelines

To address issues that could improve these indicators, 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.  A new logo has been developed for partners to use to brand their health-related programs and projects.  The shared vision of the coalition for the Quad Cities is:

All sectors of our bi-state community align and work together on program, policy, systems and environmental changes in order to create a “culture of wellness” that supports healthy eating and active living

Various Be Healthy QC activities are occurring this year.  Of note is the 2014 Worksite Wellness Workshop occurring November 4, 2014 at the Isle of Capri.  Bi-State Commissioners will be sent information on the event.