Community WellbeingImproving the overall wellbeing of our communities increases their attractiveness and vibrancy.  And much of what influences our wellness (or wellbeing) happens in our schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods. 

A number of organizations and neighborhoods are putting innovative ideas into practice, providing helpful examples and tools that can be adapted for other communities.    

These best practice resources are divided into the following categories: 

If you have questions, please contact  Krista Flynn, member of the Community Wellbeing Knowledge Group


Title Summary 
USDA: A Guide to Funding Resources
USDA, Rural Information Center
Finding funding is rarely easy.  Although some of the language in this document is very technical, the information provides a great starting point as you begin your quest for funding. 
A Guide to Neighborhood Placemaking in Chicago
Project for Public Spaces, Inc. (PPS)
Examples of placemaking within the Chicago area, including a step-by-step guide to help you move toward action in your own neighborhood and useful tools to support your placemaking efforts.  
Community Health Assessment and GroupEvaluation (CHANGE) Action Guide
Center for Disease Control and Prevention
These step-by-step instructions can assist your efforts to create a better community through policy, system, and environmental changes. Many models for collecting useful data are presented.
Community Toolbox - Bringing Solutions to Light
The Community Tool Box
This site is full of skill building information. Get started by clicking on the “Do the work” tab. 
Workplace Wellness Guide
Wellness Council of Indiana, Fisher Institute for Wellness and Gerontology, Ice Miller
This book provides an outline to help you to design, develop, and implement a workplace wellness program, as well as information about the rules and regulations surrounding wellness initiatives. 
Involve ALL (Action Leadership Lifestyle)
Fisher Institute, Ball State University
This blueprint provides objectives and potential actions for five priority areas identified by community members. Involve ALL offers clarity to help guide change efforts and can serve as a guide to help you develop a blueprint for your neighborhood. 

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Data Sources 

Title Summary
Indiana Community Asset Inventory and Rankings
Center for Business and Economic Research, Ball State University
This site provides policy makers and residents with an objective, data-focused assessment of the factors that influence the quality of life and economic conditions within each county.
Muncie GIS
Many counties have GIS coordinators that can help you identify and map county-level information. Visit the Delaware County site to see the type of information that many be available in your county.  
Polis Center, IUPUI
The Polis Center at IUPUI offers 11 Central Indiana counties a free data resource. SAVI provides data, highlights tools to analyze and visualize the data, and organizes training to build your capacity to use the data. 
Kids Count
Annie E. Casey Foundation
KIDS COUNT tracks the wellbeing of children. Their Data Center offers information on the economic, physical, educational and relational well-being of children and families in the United States. 
Indiana School Data
Indiana Department of Education 
You can search by school to find data ranging from percent of students receiving free and reduced lunches to student performance reports and school grades. 
Indiana Indicators
Using data to make decisions can increase the success of initiatives.  This site offers county-level data about leading health indicators related to health and quality of life.   
County Health Rankings and Roadmaps
This data source provides information to help make it easier for people to be healthier in their own communities.   
Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index
Gallup; Healthways
Daily interviews were conducted to gain insight into American lives in the areas of life evaluation, emotional health, physical health, healthy behaviors, work environment and basic access. This data, presented at the congressional district level and some other small area estimates, can help you develop and prioritize strategies to work toward creating a thriving community.  

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Reports/Whitepapers/Study Findings

Title Summary
The Healthy Communities Movement and the Coalition for Healthier Cities and Communities
Norris, Tyler; Pittman, Mary
This document is a must read for anyone starting a healthy communities movement. The information provides useful steps toward creating and sustaining long-term, wellbeing-enhancing community change. 
Soul of the Community
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
This report identifies factors that emotionally attach residents to where they live. The categories include basic services, economy, safety, leadership, education, aesthetics, social offerings, openness, social capital, and civic involvement. 
Placemaking and the Future of Cities
Project for Public Spaces
This report offers insight into “10 ways to improve your city” including both “Power of 10” analysis and the placemaking process. The document finishes by showcasing successful initiatives from all over the world. 
Overcoming Obstacles to Health in 2013 and Beyond
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America
This report offers answers to three questions: What does the evidence tell us about American’s unrealized health potential? Why are Americans not as healthy as they could be?  What do we know about solutions that can help all Americans reach their full health potential? 
Managing Change and Leading through Transitions: A Guide for Community And Public Health Practitioners
Vrazel, JoEllen; Community Initiatives
This report provides practical strategies to increase awareness about the core concepts of change, highlight the types of change practitioners often face, and provide practical change strategies.
Physical Activity Guidelines for AmericansMidcourse Report Strategies to Increase Physical Activity Among Youth
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
This document identifies ways in which design impacts physical activity in five settings: schools, preschool and childcare centers, community, family and home, and primary care. 
Co-Production: A Literature and ResourceReview
Fluhler, Dawn; Naso, Lindsay; Cochrane, Ryan
Co-production is a cooperative partnership between service providers and service receivers. In a valued role, receivers have an active part in the development, design, and implementation of services. The practice of co-production is not wide-spread in community wellbeing development efforts, but putting it into practice may be key to your success. 

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Title Summary 
Wellbeing The Five Essential Elements
Rath, Tom; Harter, Jim
Five universal, interconnected elements emerged from Gallup's studies of people in more than 150 countries. These elements include: Career Wellbeing, Social Wellbeing, Financial Wellbeing, Physical Wellbeing, and Community Wellbeing.  
Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard
Heath, Chip Heath, Dan
This book highlights research from psychology, sociology, and other fields to share ideas on how we can effect transformative change. Stories sharing transformational successes suggest patterns that can be followed to make the changes that matter most to you. 
The Coming Job Wars
Clifton, Jim
Having a steady, well-paying job is a key contributor to wellbeing. The book’s website quotes Clifton as saying “Leaders of countries and cities… should focus on creating good jobs because as jobs go, so does the fate of nations. Jobs bring prosperity, peace, and human development -- but long-term unemployment ruins lives, cities, and countries.” 
Blue Zones
Buettner, Dan
Dan Buettner visited places all over the world where people enjoy remarkably long, full lives. He studied these communities and explored other scientific evidence in his work to develop a recipe for lasting, wellness-enhancing community change. This book provides ideas on how to help turn your community into a “Blue Zone.”   

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TED Talks

Title Summary 
Geoffrey Canada: 7 talks on social change 
Robinson, Ken; Patton, Angela; Golden, Thelma; Leadbeater, Charles; Porter, Tony; Carter, Majora; Morgan Steiner, Leslie
Educator and activist Geoffrey Canada developed a list of TED Talks that promote social change.  His list includes presentations that address poverty, gender violence, innovative change, and calls to action. 
Carlton Cuse: 6 talks that help me create
Gilbert, Elizabeth; Burstein, Julie; Ferguson, Kirby; Stevenson, Bryan; Gladwell, Malcolm; Bezos, Mark 
As we work toward transforming our communities, we need to think creatively. Screenwriter/producer Carlton Cuse shares 6 talks that he says “…have ‘passionate optimism’ – that inner drive that allows us to risk truly expressing ourselves.”  
TED Talk Playlist: Work Smarter
Sinek, Simon; Achor, Shawn; Fried, Jason; Sagmeister, Stefan; De Botton, Alain; Marsh, Nigel; Heffernan, Margaret; St. John, Richard; Pink, Dan; Logan, David; McChrystal, Stanley
When we work we often focus on what we do and pay less attention to how we do it. This list of 11 talks (curated by the folks at TED) offers unconventional advice on leading, working, creating, and living better. 
Jill Bolte Taylor: 10 talks on human nature
Huffington, Arianna; Bassler, Bonnie; Brown, Brené; Ensler, Eve; Tippett, Krista; Gore, Al; Schwartz, Barry; Saks, Elyn; Patel, Vikram
Author and Harvard-trained neuroanatomist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor offers her list of talks that contribute to “the overall well-being of who we are as humanity.” 

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Title Summary 
National League of Cities – Community Wellness
National League of Cities 
This organization’s website highlights current groundbreaking wellness initiatives and serves as a great resource for influencing federal policy, finding city solutions, and building skills and networks. Many effective community initiatives are showcased in the “Finding City Solutions” section.  
Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index
Gallup; Healthways
This partnership offers many resources to help you maximize your professional potential as a change agent. In addition to the data sources, take time to view some of the archived 2011 Wellbeing Summit presentations. 
Blue Zones
Buettner, Dan
This organization studied communities all over the world where people live long, healthy lives. Some of the findings and recommendations of this work are offered on this site. The key is to optimize your lifestyle and your surroundings. 
Wellness Council of Indiana
Wellness Council of Indiana; The Indiana Chamber
The website offers many free resources to assist your efforts to create workplaces where employees can maximize their potential, and membership gains you access to a network of Indiana Wellness Professionals.  
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
This well-respected, forward thinking organization benefits both scholars and practitioners by providing resources that support the discovery of real-world solutions to real-world problems. 
Project for Public Spaces
This nonprofit planning, design and educational organization is dedicated to helping people create and sustain public spaces that will foster stronger communities. Pay particular attention to their featured projects. 
Healthy Communities-Strengthening Communities and Sharing Resources
This grass roots partnership works with local groups and citizens to find solutions to community problems.  
Center for Disease Control and Prevention
This site provides current information on every health and wellbeing topic you can imagine, from “Storm Readiness” to “Diabetes and Schools.” 
Health By Design
This diverse and growing organization brings together “advocates of community design, transportation and health to support healthy and active living in Central Indiana and beyond." 
Placemaking Chicago
Metropolitan Planning Council; PPS
Among the available downloadable documents you will find a step-by-step guide to placemaking, a do-it-yourself check list, and a sample action plan.  
Foundation Center
This organization provides data, analysis, and training related to securing foundation funding.
Indiana Youth Institute
The data and resources you find here can make a valuable contribution to your placemaking efforts. 
According to their website, INShape Indiana “motivates, educates, and connects Hoosiers to valuable resources that help them eat better, move more and avoid tobacco.”

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Title Summary 
Community Wellbeing Webinar
BSU Wellbeing Knowledge Group

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Jane Ellery

Dr. Jane Ellery

Knowledge Group Fellow
Assistant Professor and Associate Director of the Fisher Institute for Wellness and Gerontology
School of Kinesiology
Brent Wake - not pictured

Brent Wake

State Alliance of Indiana YMCAs
Chuck Gillespie

Chuck Gillespie

Executive Director, Wellness Council of Indiana
Thalia Mulvihill

Dr. Thalia Mulvihill

Professor of Social Foundations of Education/Higher Education
Chris Owens

Chris Owens

Executive Director, Noblesville Main Street
JoEllen Vrazel

JoEllen Vrazel

President, Leverage Points Consulting
James Connolly

James Connolly

Director, Center for Middletown Studies, and Professor of History
Lisa Jarrell

Lisa Jarrell

Instructional Services Librarian
University Libraries
Delaina Boyd

Delaina Boyd

Director, Business Development
Building Better Communities
Krista Flynn

Krista Flynn

Project Coordinator
Building Better Communities

Student Knowledge Group Members

Andrew Derry

Andrew Derry

Graduate Student for the John and Janice Fisher Institute for Wellness and Gerontology

Christian Heberer

Christian Heberer

Graduate Student for the John and Janice Fisher Institute for Wellness and Gerontology
Crystal Friel

Crystal Friel

Graduate Student for the John and Janice Fisher Institute for Wellness and Gerontology
Zachary Posey

Zachary Posey

Graduate Student for the John and Janice Fisher Institute for Wellness and Gerontology

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Building Better Communities
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Ball State University
Muncie, Indiana 47306

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