Healthy Valley 2000

Daily Point of Light # 1531 Dec 16, 1999

Healthy Valley 2000 (HV2000) is a grassroots, volunteer-inspired, five-year-old effort to improve health and quality of life by making the community a better place in which to live and work. It covers six towns with a combined population of 96,000, three of which have been designated by the federal government as medically underserved.

One hundred seventy-five volunteer stakeholders representing every community constituency meet quarterly to develop goals, review progress and manage HV2000. There are seven priorities: Arts & Recreation, Community Involvement, Economic Development, Education, Regional Capacity and Youth. The youth focus is on achieving the goals of America's Promise.

HV2000 is about mobilizing and empowering the community to solve its own problems and building on existing strengths and resources. HV2000 took the America's Promise call to action seriously and asked business organizations, churches, schools and government leaders to respond by making a commitment to make the community stronger. More than 30 commitments have been received in an ongoing effort. An AmeriCorps America's Promise Fellow has been awarded to the Valley community.

HV2000 was selected to be one of 16 teaching examples at the Presidents' Summit for America's Future, as one of the first hundred Communities of Promise and was spotlighted on the America's Promise Web site.

HV2000 initiatives include completion of more than 2,220 health assessments of youth and adults, connecting more than 500 people to needed services, development of the Electronic Valley, a community-wide communication and information system using the Internet and created with volunteer and in-kind services, the first annual Valley Pride week with community and neighborhood organization volunteers taking on 10 cleanup or beautification projects, a Youth Leadership Program organized to provide a vehicle by which future community leaders are trained and developed, a Safe Communities Program implemented to ensure safe places and a healthy start for youth and a Youth Yellow Pages pocketsize publication for youth that contains all the youth activities and programs in the community.