San Diego County Steps Up to the Challenge

Building Safer Neighborhoods

A San Diego County Live Well Communities program in southeastern San Diego has received a $10,000 grant and been chosen as one of 50 local government projects to participate in a national Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge.

Live Well Communities is an effort by San Diego County and local community partners in San Diego’s southeastern and surrounding neighborhoods to reduce inequalities and disparities in communities experiencing greater health risks, higher crime rates and less civic engagement than other communities in the San Diego region.

The program supports Live Well San Diego, the County’s vision for health, safe and thriving communities.

“Live Well San Diego is about making changes to improve health and safety that are driven by the community,” said Chairman Ron Roberts, County Board of Supervisors. “We’re excited to be part of the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge and look forward to seeing the results of our work with our partners.”

The program will work with residents and community organizations to strengthen services, improve health, create jobs, address crime, broaden access to healthy foods, strengthen families and help residents become leaders through increased civic engagement. These areas were all identified and included in the project based on input by community members.

“The Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge is a great opportunity to work with the community to address the health challenges residents face every day,” said Supervisor Greg Cox.

By participating in the Challenge, San Diego County is in the running to receive a prize that will support the Live Well Communities Project.

The Challenge is a partnership between the American Public Health Association, the National Association of Counties and the Aetna Foundation. The Challenge will award a total of $1.5 million to small- and mid-sized cities, counties and federally recognized tribes that are able to show measurable change over the course of two years working with community partnership to implement health. Hundreds of city governments, local municipalities, health departments, educational institutions and other public/private entities applied to be a part of the challenge.

The HealthyCommunity50 were chosen based on plans to improve the health of their communities in at least one of the five areas: healthy behaviors, community safety, built environment, social/economic factors and environmental exposures.

At the conclusion of the Challenge, the programs best able to show measurable change will be eligible for prize awards from $25,000 to $500,000. Participants will be judged on their own progress and will not be competing against each other.

For more information, visit the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge page on Live Well Communities.

Tom Christensen is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact