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NCHPAD - Building Healthy Inclusive Communities

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Illinois


Lead Organization:  Easter Seals Joliet Region

Contact:  Debbie Condotti, Chief Executive Officer, Easter Seals Joliet Region, dcondotti@joliet.easterseals.com

Partners and Collaborators Include:  Will County Health Department, Will-Grundy Center for Independent Living, Greater Joliet Area YMCA, Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center, Will County MAPP Collaborative

The Will County inclusive health coalition has led a wide range of initiatives to promote inclusion in multiple areas across its community. It has and continues to work with over 40 other community organizations on the Will County Community Health Needs Assessment and Plan team, also known as the Will County MAPP Collaborative. Serving as part of the collaborative, the IHC is ensuring that “inclusive health” is a key existing term in all official Plan documents, ensuring that inclusion will be at the forefront of all future health planning and policies.

The IHC also worked to adapt a local health program for youth, “Commit to be Fit,” and implemented it with youth with disabilities. The program led to participants getting at least five hours of physical activity each week for seven weeks, charting their progress and earning rewards along the way, culminated in a huge dance party event, and was very successful and well received by participants and the community.

The IHC has also partnered with local universities to provide disability etiquette training to nursing and paramedic students to increase and ensure their competence in working with and treating individuals with disabilities. They are working with the universities to integrate aspects of the curriculum they taught into other classes and trainings at the universities. With funding awarded by the Community Foundation of Will County, it is in the process of creating a photovoice and media messaging toolkit for community organizations and partners to use to promote inclusion in their own promotion materials.


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