Community Wellness in Action

WeTHRIVE! aims to protect families where they live, work, learn, worship and play by making the healthy choice the easy choice in our neighborhoods. Find out more at


Read the WeTHRIVE! Annual Report or Food Access Report to learn about all of the healthy changes being made in Hamilton County:

WeTHRIVE! 2012 Annual Report

WeTHRIVE! 2013 Food Access Report

On This Page:


WeTHRIVE! focuses on reducing childhood obesity and other chronic diseases for the residents of Hamilton County. Initiatives aim to protect families by increasing access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity and decreasing exposure to tobacco products where they live, work, learn and play. The goal of the WeTHRIVE! initiative is to make the healthy choice the easy choice by implementing policy, systems and environmental changes to support improved nutrition, increased activity, and decrease chronic disease.

The WeTHRIVE! initiative began in 2008 with funding from three national grants: CDC's Strategic Alliance for Health, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Healthy Kids Healthy  Communities and CDC's Communities Putting Prevention to Work.

The Need

Chronic disease is the leading cause of death in this country due to specific behaviors such as poor diet and physical inactivity. The chronic disease rates in Hamilton County and across the nation are far too high.

Hamilton County Statistics:

  • 31.7 percent of Hamilton County third graders were overweight or obese in 2009-2010. (ODH Report of BMI of Ohio's third Graders 2004-2010)
  • 49.9 percent of Hamilton County adults do not get the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity a week and 25.9 percent report having no physical activiity in the last month. (BRFSS SMART City and County Data, 2011)
  • 37 percent of Hamilton County adults are overweight and 26.4 percent are obese. (BRFSS SMART City and County Data, 2011)
  • 24.7 percent of Hamilton County adults are current smokers (BRFSS SMART City and County Data, 2011)

Diseases caused by these behaviors are largely preventable with healthy lifestyle changes such as eating fruits and vegetables and getting regular physical activity.

Making a Difference

Community partners, schools, local businesses and other key stakeholders from across Hamilton County are joining forces to implement evidence-based strategies that promote physical activity, healthy eating and reduced tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke – all lifestyle behaviors associated with obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases. The We THRIVE! initiative is building a solid foundation for sustainable changes by addressing policy, systems and environmental change.

Strategies include:
  • Providing access to healthy food options through school-based competitive foods policy change, community garden development and fresh markets.
  • Developing shared-use agreements for physical activity sites, such as in schools, YMCA locations and faith-based community locations.  
  • Creating policies to support 30 minutes of daily physical activity in after-school programs.
  • Adopting tobacco-free policies to include outdoor venues, such as community parks and playgrounds.
  • Creating pocket parks and enhancing existing parks in communities to increase safe physical activity opportunities.
  • Implementing a social marketing campaign to counter negative messaging and promote the value and benefits of healthy eating, physical activity and not smoking.
  • Increasing access to fresh food by expanding acceptance of WIC and SNAP vouchers at area farmers' markets.
  • Expanding healthy food purchasing power for after school program sites.
  • Increasing Safe Routes to School programs to encourage more walking and bicycling. 

Strategic Alliance for Health

Hamilton County Public Health (HCPH) received funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as part of the Strategic Alliance for Health, a program focused on training local communities to create policy and environmental changes that address lifestyle behaviors linked to some of the leading chronic diseases impacting our nation’s health. The program, announced September 30, 2008, was part of a larger $25 million CDC investment in local community efforts to reduce the burden of chronic diseases across the nation. The Strategic Alliance for Health, provided five-year funding awards to nine communities across the United States. Communities developed specific strategies that promoted physical activity and proper nutrition and reduced tobacco use and exposure—all lifestyle behaviors associated with obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. HCPH collaborated with Lincoln Heights, Lockland and Woodlawn on this project. These communities are comprised of minority and low income populations demonstrating significant disparities in access to and use of prevention and health care services.

Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities

Hamilton County Public Health and the Collaborative to Prevent Childhood Obesity was awarded a $360,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) on January 12, 2010. This grant focused on preventing childhood obesity and worked to improve opportunities for physical activity and access to affordable healthy foods for children and families across the county. Hamilton County was one of 41 sites selected for the RWJF Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities initiative.

Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), advanced community-based solutions that will help reverse the childhood obesity epidemic. It focused on changing policies and environments to support active living and healthy eating among children and families. The program placed special emphasis on reaching children who are at highest risk for obesity on the basis of income, race/ethnicity and geographic location. It supports RWJF’s efforts to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic in the United States by 2015.

Communities Putting Prevention to Work

Hamilton County Public Health was awarded a grant of $6.7 million for a county-wide obesity prevention program on March 19, 2010. This grant award was part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative to support public health efforts to reduce obesity, increase physical activity, improve nutrition, and decrease smoking—four critical actions for combating chronic diseases and promoting health. 

The $372.8 million, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, was awarded to 44 communities. These communities received awards to implement policy, systems and environmental change strategies over two years as one of several initiatives of HHS Communities Putting Prevention to Work.