Local View: Healthier Duluthians means healthier Duluth
A community is all the people and organizations within a reasonably circumscribed geographic area in which there is a sense of interdependence and belonging. That's according to the Coalition for Healthier Cities and Communities, a partnership of...
A community is all the people and organizations within a reasonably circumscribed geographic area in which there is a sense of interdependence and belonging. That's according to the Coalition for Healthier Cities and Communities, a partnership of organizations collaborating to focus attention and resources on improving the overall health and quality of life in local communities.
A healthy community is made up of healthy people. A more holistic concept of health recognizes the influence of the social, economic, psychological, and environmental well-being of community on people's health. I believe a person's health is a product of his or her environment.
The World Health Organization established prerequisites for health, including peace, shelter, education, food, income, a stable ecosystem, sustainable resources, and social justice and equity. As such, a healthy community continually creates and improves the environment and expands resources so the prerequisites for health are provided and all citizens of the community move toward the broad definition of health.
Healthy-communities initiatives are multi-sectoral collaborations that integrate social, economic, and environmental goals to benefit whole communities and to strengthen communities' capacities to promote and sustain health. People working together in unity can energize and build a strong and healthier community as well as create a sense of pride and belonging.
Our city has gained national attention as we continue to model the building of a healthy community. An example of this will be on display Saturday at the ninth-annual Northland Community Wellness Day at its new location, the Duluth Heritage Center. The city of Duluth, St. Louis County, and health services at the University of Minnesota Duluth present the event to promote a healthy community. They bring together more than 75 local businesses and organizations, providing information and resources on health and wellness, public safety, environmental awareness, financial literacy, and more.
Saturday's free event is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with informational workshops and the opportunity to participate in a roundtable discussion with Duluth Mayor Emily Larson. A family fun center will feature exciting activities, including music, a bounce house, shows for kids, and a chance to play with UMD athletes and mascots.
It is rather inspiring and uplifting to witness an engaged group of people working in unity to create a healthier community.
Michelle Russell of Duluth is a holistic health care practitioner and volunteer with the Northland Community Wellness Day Planning Committee.