We Choose Health (WCH)


ChooseHealth logo madisonco 



We Choose Health has a mission to promote safe and healthy communities for Illinois families.  We Choose Health is a 5 year grant funded initiative through the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) with funds from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Community Transformation Grants which are issued from the Affordable Care Act to help create long-term impact on chronic diseases through policies and community involvement.

We Choose Health focuses on 3 Strategic Areas which include:  Healthy Living and Active Lifestyles, Smoke-Free Living, and Healthy and Safe Environments.  Each grantee was required to select at least 2 of 8 evidence-based and practice-based approaches through policy development to help address the 3 Strategic Areas.  These approaches include:  Coordinated School Health, Baby Friendly Hospitals, Worksite Wellness, Smoke Free Multi-Unit Housing, Smoke Free Public Places, Safe Routes to School, Complete Streets, and Joint Use Agreements. 

In August 2012, IDPH awarded 21 grants to local health departments throughout Illinois. 

For more information about We Choose Health, visit www.idph.state.il.us/wechoosehealth

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In August 2012, Madison County Health Department (MCHD) was awarded the We Choose Health Grant from the IL Department of Public Health for 14 months and $300,000.  With quality implementation and execution, we will be eligible to apply for continuation grants annually for the next three years.  Funding for this grant through IDPH originates with 2010 Affordable Care Act Funds allocated to the CDC and awarded in 2011 to IDPH through the CDC Community Transformation Grants for states and large communities (populations over 500,000). 

For the 1st year (August 2012-September 2013), the focus of the We Choose Health initiative in Madison County will include 3 Model Approaches and subcontracts with 3 community agencies responsible for the implementation of certain grant objectives and the achievement of their associated goals.  MCHD will serve as the primary grant coordinator and oversight agency as well as fiscal agent.  Here is a summary of this initiative for 2012-2013.


Strategic Area                                Model Approach                        Agency Responsible

Healthy Eating and Active Living

Coordinated School Health

Coordinated Youth and Human Services (Madison and Venice School Districts


Chestnut Health Systems (East Alton, Wood River, and EAWRHS School Districts)





Smoke-Free Living

Smoke-Free Multi-Unit Housing

MCHD (all of Madison County except Alton/Godfrey area)


ACES 4 Youth (Alton/Godfrey area)





Healthy and Safe Built Environments

Joint Use Agreements

Coordinated Youth and Human Services, Chestnut Health Systems, MCHD, ACES 4 Youth

In April 2013, MCHD was given the opportunity to expand the We Choose Health initiatives in Madison County through an Enhancement Project to run April-September 2013.  With this opportunity, We Choose Health Madison County added 2 partners and 2 Model Approaches which included:


Strategic Area                                Model Approach                            Agency Responsible

Healthy Eating and Active Living

Baby Friendly Hospitals

Alton Memorial Hospital



Healthy and Safe Built Environments

Built Environment Project focused on an assessment, bike rack purchase and placement, and Year 2 planning

Madison County Planning & Development

In August 2013, MCHD submitted the 2nd year renewal grant application to IL Department of Public Health and are awaiting notice of the grant.  A few changes in Model Approaches were proposed for the 2nd year of We Choose Health in Madison County.  Look for a few exciting changes pending MCHD receiving a grant award for 2013-2014.

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2012-2013 We Choose Health Madison County Partners:

Coordinated Youth & Human Services                              www.cyhs.com

Chestnut Health Systems                                                     www.chestnut.org

ACES 4 Youth                                                                        www.aces4youth.com


Summer 2013 We Choose Health Madison County Partners through the We Choose Health Enhancement Project:

Madison County Planning & Development         Planning & Development
Alton Memorial Hospital                                      www.altonmemorialhospital.org



Coming Soon!

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