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Addressing Health Issues at the Local Level

WellSpan understands that the health of a community is dependent upon collaboration with diverse stakeholders. Together, we can strategically partner to build a safe environment in which current neighbors and future generations can thrive. Community-driven action is initiated through our county-based health coalitions. WellSpan has been a longtime supporter and actively engaged in Healthy Adams County, Healthy York County Coalition, Healthy Franklin County and the Community Health Council of Lebanon County. In addition, it provided support for the development of the Northern Lancaster Hub of social services. Together as partners, these coalitions each engage in focused and impactful opportunities to advance community health.

Healthy Adams County

  • The Physical Fitness Task Force engaged 861 people during walking parties and two free 5K runs. They also published a walking booklet with a link to download maps.
  • Engaged 2,000 people in Community Wellness Connections, providing opportunities to learn about body, mind, spirit and community dimensions.
  • Adams County Food Policy Council implemented Healthy Options, a food voucher program, to 614 low-income residents. Fruit and Veggie Bucks served 372 SNAP recipients and their families for a total of 951 people. Recipients received a 50% discount on fruits and vegetables at Kennie's Markets from October through May. The council also helped 350 families and 360 seniors in need increase their access to healthy food through the Adams County Farmers Market Double Dollars Program.
  • The Suicide Prevention Subcommittee partnered with over 30 restaurants and bars, churches, school districts and community organizations to participate in its September Suicide Prevention Campaign.
  • The Behavioral Health Task Force offered Mental Health First Aid and Question, Persuade, Refer, and SAVE Trainings as well as Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction trainings for the community.
  • As part of @Home Adams County, four apartment units are being built above South Central Community Action Program's homeless shelter that will be offered at well below the market price. The Meadow View Townhomes project by Luminest aims to create more affordable homes. The coalition also convened forums on Affordable Housing and Transportation. Feedback from the successful forums will inform upcoming strategic planning sessions.
  • Collaborated with Rabbittransit and County Government to promote the Gettysburg-Hanover Route, offering a fixed route for students, patients and commuters to work.

Healthy Franklin County

  • Convened the Franklin County Health Summit with more than 80 participants where key findings from WellSpan Health’s Community Health Needs Assessment were presented. Participants broke out into topic areas of food security, nutrition and physical activity, behavioral health, early childhood education and health disparities to discuss strategies to improve health needs.
  • At the Franklin County Health Summit, residents and organizations who work to improve the health and well-being of Franklin County residents were recognized with the first-ever Community Health Champion Award(s). Three categories of recipients were honored for their service and commitment to improving community health, including lifelong service, which went to Sheldon “Shelly” Schwartz; young professional, which went to Sonja Payne; and organizational, which went to First Start Partnerships.
  • The Physical Activity and Nutrition task force and Behavioral Health task force collaborated to create the Move for Mental Health campaign to promote the benefits of physical activity on mental health and to increase awareness of existing community resources that support mental health and well-being. The campaign included a website, a county-wide billboard initiative with over 351,000 impressions, and a social media blitz reaching over 24,000 individuals. The campaign also promoted the Penn State Cooperative Extension Everybody Walk Across PA virtual walking program which had 204 participants from Franklin County who logged 15,886 miles total (representing 21% of total miles logged statewide).
  • Convened a quarterly forum series engaging over 50 community members around building local capacity in the Policy and Advocacy space and to inform development of policy priorities. Participants learned how to successfully advocate as a non-profit. The forum provided an opportunity for networking and skills-sharing among a range of stakeholders from grass roots groups to institutions.

Healthy York County

  • In partnership with Community Progress Council and York College Center for Community Engagement, 11 focus groups were held in targeted locations throughout the County of York. The goal of the focus groups was to gather additional information from community members around social determinants of health needs. Those locations included Hanover, City of York, Delta/Fawn Grove, Hallam and Lewisberry with additional sessions conducted for Spanish speaking residents. Over 40 individuals provided feedback on issues such as overall well-being, childcare, transportation, housing, food and employment. To read the full report visit
  • Hosted "Community Conversation — Working Together to Improve Community Health & Well-Being,“ where 135 attendees heard about closed loop referral systems from healthcare organizations. This event was a kick-off event for York County Care Coordination Project, which is intended to improve community health through social determinants of health care coordination, bi-directional referrals and shared intake.
  • In partnership with the York County Coroner and Child Death Review Team, convened over 10 meetings with community partners to conduct an environmental scan regarding gun safety. Gap analysis and collaborative partners are being identified to further this important work.
  • Discussed the importance of public health with county-wide elected leaders. Oversaw the performance of additional research around the opportunities to strengthen York County Public Health infrastructure.
  • Convened the 2022 Health Summit which featured national keynote speaker Dr. Leana Wen. Over 200 individuals attended from healthcare, human service organizations and community members to hear Dr. Wen’s keynote: “COVID-19 Implications on Health Care and Public Health”. The summit also featured CHNA data and interactive dialogue to discuss solutions to our community's most pressing health needs.

Community Health Council of Lebanon County

  • Received $300,000 in grants from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency to address youth mental health and substance use. The funds support partnership with 3 local school districts to improve the resilience and coping mechanisms of students. Over 300 hours of group and individual therapy was performed, along with 45 staff and administrators trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid.
  • Launched a grant-funded project to tackle the impact of substance use on teen’s mental health. This grant builds on the successes of the CHC’s Youth Tobacco and Vaping Coalition which now serves five school districts. This work includes primary prevention, two different interventions/cessation programs for teens caught with nicotine, marijuana and other substances, advocacy and additional therapy services. Over the past school year, more than 1,500 students received primary prevention and about 50 students participated in cessation classes for nicotine.
  • Expanded the County’s first Youth Advisory Board (YAB), which was established by the health council in 2021. Five of the county’s six high schools operate YAB chapters, each consisting of 5-10 students. Each chapter produced a school-specific health project and helped refine a Student Mental Health Guide for their respective high school.
  • Published an updated Lebanon County Walking Guide, a 40-page bilingual guide to over 35 local parks and naturalized areas.
  • The Community Health Council and the Coalition to End Homelessness were funded by the County and City of Lebanon to complete a Comprehensive Housing Market Analysis. This study takes a comprehensive look at the housing needs and challenges in Lebanon. The hope is that the study will fuel smart investment, planning and variety in housing.
  • In collaboration with the REACH project at the Penn State College of Medicine, the health council completed a new Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) specific to Lebanon County. This CHNA provided the opportunity to take a deeper dive into the priorities that other CHNA surveys exposed. This assessment was able to reach more local residents, both inside and outside Lebanon City, regarding community resources and social determinants of health impacting needs specific to Lebanon County residents.

Coalitions snapshot


Healthy Adams Celebrates 25 Years