Texas Healthy Communities
TXHC empowers Texans to improve their health in all the places they live, work and play. The program assists communities to assess their environments and public health policies and empowers communities to take action and make positive changes within their communities through local policy development and systems change, building on the talent, resources, and expertise of community members, and establishing a team of local advocates to drive local decision-making to improve health.
The TXHC Program (formerly Heart and Stroke Healthy City (HSHS)) was developed in 2003 under the leadership of the Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention Section (HPCDPS) of the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and the Texas Council on Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke with the help of a group of public and private organizations dedicated to reducing the burden of chronic disease in Texas. This planning group included representatives from health care, business, and school settings. The program evolved as experts on heart disease, stroke, and related risk factors (diabetes, obesity, poor nutrition, physical inactivity, smoking, high blood pressure, and high blood cholesterol) continued to lend their expertise and recommendations for creating a program that is evidenced-based and has practical applications for community and policy change.
How to participate
Communities that wish to be named a Texas Healthy Community are assessed on eight priority community-based policy, systems, and environmental change indicators vital to reducing the burden of chronic disease. These include indicators such as (1) physical activity areas and opportunities, (2) healthy food access, (3) worksite wellness programs, (4) environmental health (5) access to quality healthcare, (6) healthy aging, (7) mental health, and (8) emergency preparedness. Communities are assigned a recognition level (honorable mention, bronze, silver, gold) based on the results of the TXHC assessment.