The CDC awarded the Marion County Public Health Department funding  to create a network of strategies to address high chronic disease rates in Marion County through a program called Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH). Locally entitled, Reaching for a Healthier Marion County, this program aims to: increase availability and access to fruits, vegetables, and other nourishing foods in a variety of venues; increase the percentage of women who initiate and sustain breastfeeding along with increasing supportive work environments for lactating mothers; advocate for walking infrastructure so that walking is safe, convenient, and encouraged; and, maximize the use of existing health education community resources.


Specific activities include:

  • Work with food pantries to incorporate extensive and creative nutrition “nudges” to help guide pantry clients toward making healthier choices.
  • Expand the double-up produce incentive program, Fresh Bucks, initiated by the Indy Hunger Network and offered for families on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
  • Develop a Produce Rx Program in Federally Qualified Health Centers.
  • Carry out an array of strategies to result in additional foods aligned with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans in hospital venues.
  • Build and/or enhance clinical community linkages to ensure higher participation in community-based diabetes prevention programs and diabetes self-management education/support programs.
  • Work in priority areas representing high numbers of pedestrian crash incidents to conduct pedestrian safety community conversations, assist with action plan development, and track action plan implementation  to achieve safer walking conditions in their neighborhoods.
  • Existing breastfeeding resources and develop a plan to promote classes and drop-in centers by reaching out to community-based organizations, faith-based and employer networks, and healthcare settings.

For more information about REACH program around the nation please click here .


  • Active People, Healthy Indy℠  is a local initiative and adoption of Active People, Healthy Nation℠. Active People, Healthy Nation℠ is a national initiative led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help 27 million Americans become more physically active by 2027. Increased activity can improve health, quality of life, and reduce healthcare costs. The Cardiovascular Program has adopted this initiative in an effort to engage community partnership through policies, systems, and environmental changes that integrate physical activity opportunity throughout Marion County.