Healthy Community Partnership Releases Annual Report

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Healthy Community Partnership, an initiative of the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley, has released its 2022-2023 Years in Review report, highlighting the work of community partners to create lasting change to health in the Valley.

Highlights of the report include: the hosting of a food policy summit in Youngstown that drew 75 community members to hear about what can be done to make healthy foods more accessible; the Safe Streets series to demonstrate what a fully inclusive model of transportation can look like; and the implementation of a Tree Corps for Mahoning and Trumbull counties that will see shade trees planted throughout the region.

“What’s exciting is seeing the work of the partnership in its intent to move toward larger, longer-term change,” said Sarah Lowry, the organization’s founding director, using the Tree Corps as an example.

For that project, the Community Foundation committed the initial startup funding, which was then leveraged into a five year, $5 million federal grant.

“That kind of scaling up is what we want to see and what collective impact is trying to do,” Lowry said. “We want to bring people together and leverage all of our resources to make a bigger difference for more people over a longer length of time.”

The Healthy Community Partnership, now in its eighth year, has grown to include more than 60 individual members representing just as many organizations across its three action teams: Active Transportation, Healthy Food and Parks & Greenspaces. 

The organization now has three support staff members: Sophia Buggs, Mahoning Valley food access director; Dalton Campana, community recreation graduate assistant; and Lydia Lynch, Trumbull health and wellness coordinator. The team also includes Robin Perry, who became the organization’s full-time network coordinator in 2022, and Lowry, who was promoted to be the Community Foundation’s senior director of community impact in fall 2023.

“The work those action teams do is done not just by one organization who takes part in HCP, but by a whole committee who is there to aid that support position,” Perry said. “That lets the action teams do a lot more hands-on work. That’s the part of the partnership that we want to foster with our shared power model. That’s what makes the Healthy Community Partnership unique, I think.”

Pictured at top: Community members celebrate the launch of Tree Corps, a project supported by the Healthy Community Partnership and Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley, in April 2023.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.