2018 National Planning Conference

Investing in Health, Revitalizing Rural Communities

Sunday, April 14, 2019 from 10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. PDT

CM | 1.25

Activity Type: Educational Sessions

Activity ID: NPC198095

Location: 2018

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  • Learn how to show decisionmakers and community members the connections between social determinants of health and equitable economic development.
  • Discover how to build capacity locally using techniques shared by panelists, including how to develop new partnerships and effective ways to engage stakeholders.
  • Recognize the value of teaming with community health care partners and health care facilities to ignite downtown revitalization efforts in small and rural places.


EPA’s Healthy Places for Healthy People (HP2) program engages with community leaders and health care partners to create walkable, healthy, economically vibrant downtowns and neighborhoods that can improve health, protect the environment, and support economic growth. Partners typically include community health centers, non-profit hospitals, and other health care providers. In 2017, 10 pilot communities were selected to participate; in this session several of them share their stories. These towns may be small, but they have big ideas. Some have dreamed of building new health clinics downtown, others of building new trails, sidewalks, and farmers markets — but all are leveraging investments in health to ignite downtown revitalization. But moving from idea to implementation often requires resources beyond the reach of small, rural communities. Connecting these communities and their stories is HP2’s ability to build the capacity necessary to support desired growth in small and rural towns. Speakers from pilot communities describe the genesis of their ideas, their planning efforts, ways that they’ve attracted new partners, and methods for engaging stakeholders. They also describe the importance of having an action-oriented, community-based plan for implementation.

Session Speakers

Caroline Dwyer, AICP
Renaissance Planning
Durham, NC

Kathleen Rooney
Ulupono Initiative
Honolulu, HI

Gabriel Pena
Fayette County Commission
Fayetteville, WV

Cary Simmons
The Trust for Public Land

Teresita Bendito
The Trust for Public Land/ Parque Padrinos

Stephanie Bertaina
US EPA, Office of Community Revitalization
Washington, DC

Shawn Hayden
Cox Health