Public Policy

Quick Byte: Act locally


To solve our most pressing national health issues, we must start locally, according to a Health Affairs blog post.

“For example, in [Mecklenburg County] North Carolina, African Americans face rates of cardiovascular disease 22% higher than their white counterparts do. To fight this, an organization called Village HeartBEAT joined forces with more than 60 faith-based groups to reach more than 20,000 people – connecting them with health resources to reduce their cardiovascular risk. As a direct result, rates of smoking decreased from 17.4% to 13.9%, and obesity rates fell from 70% to 64.7%.”

Mecklenburg County is a winner of the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge, a collaboration between the Aetna Foundation, the American Public Health Association, and the National Association of Counties, which has awarded more than $1.5 million in grants and prizes over the last 2 years.


1. Graham G, Benjamin G. “Winning Local Solutions to Our Most Pressing Public Health Needs.” Health Affairs. Published April 25, 2019.

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