Journal Articles

Publication Date



BMC Public Health


BACKGROUND: Community initiatives can shape health behaviors, such as physical activity and dietary habits, across a population and help reduce the risk of developing chronic disease. to achieve this goal and impact health outcomes, Pasadena Vibrant Community aimed to engage communities in an ongoing dialogue about the importance of healthy behaviors, implement and advance community-based strategies to promote health, and improve diet and physical activity behaviors. The initiative was centered around a collaboration between a backbone organization, steering committee, and 7 collaborating organizations funded to implement multicomponent, evidence-based programs.. The common agenda was detailed in a community action plan, which included 19 interventions targeting healthy eating and active living among adults and youth in Pasadena, Texas.

METHODS: A mixed methods evaluation of the initiative was conducted over 4 years. Data sources included document reviews of quarterly progress reports (n = 86) and supplemental data reports (n = 16) provided by collaborating organizations, annual Steering Committee surveys (n = 4), and interviews conducted with staff from a subset of Collaborating Organizations (n = 4).

RESULTS: The initiative reached over 50,000 community members per year through 19 evidence-based interventions and impacted health outcomes, including knowledge and adoption of healthy eating practices and increased physical activity. Thirty-one systems-level changes were implemented during the initiative, including 16 environmental changes. Steering Committee meetings and shared goals enabled connections, communication, and cooperation, which allowed Collaborating Organizations to address challenges and combine resources to deliver their programs.

CONCLUSIONS: Community initiatives can effectively permeate the community by reaching individuals, improving physical activity and dietary habits, and ensuring sustainability. Based on the experience reported here, the success of a community initiative can be facilitated if collaborating organizations come together to implement evidence-based interventions and tailor them to the community, and if they are empowered by significant leadership and supportive collaboration and aligned by a common agenda.


Adult, Adolescent, Humans, Health Promotion, Health Behavior, Diet, Exercise, Chronic Disease

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