In 2009, through the efforts of Town leadership and community partners, Bedford received CHNA mini-grants which supported Bedford's Safe Routes to School initiative which became a part of a larger effort to promote programs and policy change intended to promote healthy and active living opportunities in our town. This was named Healthy Bedford.
In 2012, Bedford received CHNA Planning and Implementation Grants, and found through vigorous community outreach and engagement that lack of public transportation options, sidewalks, and connectivity were among the biggest issues impacting quality of life in our community. In response, Bedford embarked a town-wide Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan through Community Preservation funds, and a pilot transportation project called the DASH to improve transportation options in our local area. In addition, through the Safe Routes to School partnership, Bedford was awarded an infrastructure grant through Mass DOT to further connectivity in the town. Other related endeavors include: Healthy Bedford By Design, Healthy Bedford Healthier Dining, Mental Health First Aid Training and more.
Who's to say what makes us and our community healthy? Concepts of what we need to make and keep us healthy vary amongst individuals and from community to community. However, research tells us there are some largely universal determinants of health such those identified by the World Health Organization (WHO):
Where we live and our physical environment
The services we have access to
Individual characteristics and behaviors
Social and economic environment
These determinants and more continue to guide Healthy Bedford projects and endeavors.