Alliance for Healthy and Active Communities

The Alliance for Healthy and Active Communities (AHAC) is a group of community health advocates led by the Cook County Department of Public Health. We work to make healthy options easy, convenient and accessible to residents of suburban Cook County through skill building and advocacy. The goal is to make the healthy choice the default choice in suburban Cook County by successfully creating policy change, increasing public knowledge, creating a network and developing innovative solutions to complex problems. AHAC focuses on broad-based policies to address risk factors and social determinants that contribute to chronic disease. AHAC believes that a healthier environment can be achieved by:

  • Increasing accessibility & demand for safe,  healthy, affordable and convenient foods
  • Decreasing opportunities for excess caloric intake from unhealthy foods & beverages
  • Increasing availability or use of safe & convenient places to be physically active
  • Promoting access to preventive health services
  • Decreasing smoking rates
  • Decreasing exposure to second hand smoke
  • Preventing youth from starting to smoke

Why join us?

As a central body for health advocates within suburban Cook County, the Alliance provides networking and capacity building opportunities, including:

  • Networking opportunities that will enrich your agency efforts to create healthy, thriving communities.
  • Best practices, both existing and emerging, that help tackle the complex issues behind chronic disease.
  • Participation in the development of tools and resources that are on the cutting edge of chronic disease prevention.

If you missed the last AHAC Bi-annual Meeting
The last AHAC meeting, September 16, 2014, included an overview and hands-on experience of the Take Charge of Your Health (TCOYH) program, an evidence based self-management program developed by Stanford University Patient Education Research Center. The program is licensed by AgeOptions and has been implemented throughout suburban Cook County for over seven years. Maria Oquendo-Scharneck, Health and Diversity Coordinator of AgeOptions and member of the AHAC strategy & support team presented the background and overview of the program which is geared to those who have or are caring for someone with an on-going health condition. CCDPH staff and TCOYH master trainers, April Tolbert and Keith Winn, led the group in one of the sessions, which provided an interactive experience. Thanks to the Berwyn Libaray for donating space and AHAC volunteer, Camille Wright of WrightFit Personal Training for leading us in a "happy" dance during the physical activity break. If your organization would like to host a meeting, contact us at healthycook@cookcountyhhs.org. Mark your calendar for the next meeting, Thursday, March 26, 2015.

Learn more and get involved
To get on our mailing list, please complete and submit the Community Database Update Form. For more information about AHAC please call 708-633-8357.