The Healthy Blair County Coalition (HBCC) began as a United Way-sponsored Community Needs Assessment Partnership in 2007. Its goal: tap local understandings of important issues and identify priorities for improving the quality of life for residents of Blair County.
Since then the Partnership has evolved into an ongoing effort by a diverse group of individuals and organizations to achieve tangible progress on a number of key factors affecting community health. HBCC impacts the community through its work groups, each of which is responsible for identifying and implementing action steps to achieve measureable objectives. The work groups are reviewed and realigned every three years based on the results the triennial community needs assessment.
Current HBCC Work Groups include:
- Bridges Network (Poverty)
- Healthy Lifestyles
- Alcohol and Other Drugs
- Mental Health
- Tobacco-Free Workplaces
Begun in the spring of 2011, Penn State Altoona’s partnership with HBCC has become an important vehicle for envisioning how academic scholarship and practical problem-solving can work together to enhance the well-being of community residents. In 2012, CCBS-affiliated faculty and staff collaborated in the design and delivery of the second community needs assessment, while students assisted in organizing, analyzing, and presenting the survey results. Similar support is envisioned for 2015 assessment. CCBS continues its engagement with HBCC through the Bridges Network (poverty) and the Healthy Lifestyles Work Group, as well as the HBCC Steering Committee.