Healthy Detroit is a 501(c)(3) public health organization dedicated to building a culture of healthy, active living in the city of Detroit. Founded in late 2013, Healthy Detroit formed in response to the US Surgeon General’s National Prevention Strategy (NPS). Commissioned under the Affordable Care Act, the NPS provides advice on choosing the most effective and achievable means for improving health and well-being. It envisions a prevention-oriented society where all sectors recognize the value of health for individuals, families, and society and work together to achieve better health for all. Through implementation of the National Prevention Strategy, Healthy Detroit strives to provide Detroiters with the education, resources, and empowerment needed to live healthy and happy lives. This vision has been nationally recognized as the feature organization in the US Surgeon General’s 2013/2014 Annual Status Report to the President and Congress.
Healthy Detroit uses a three-prong approach to bring better care to underserved residents. The three-prongs include: physical community wellness centers (or HealthParks), a Community Health Worker Program, and innovative technology. The first component includes the development of HealthParks throughout the city of Detroit. Combining the best practices found in public health and place-making, a HealthPark is designed to build a culture of primary prevention through an inclusive, collaborative effort. HealthParks provide residents with one stop shop neighborhood wellness hubs for everything needed to live healthy lives. This includes your typical park amenities, a farmer’s market, outdoor fitness center, preventive care clinic, and indoor/outdoor recreation/wellness center. It also includes the ongoing programming and resources that some may not typically relate to public health: transportation, housing, finance, and employment. Through this effort, HealthParks will essentially serve as town squares of healthy living in Detroit’s neighborhoods with a focus of showcasing health in all policies.