LCHM Winter18 - 14


great strides bringing diverse groups together
to make positive changes.

Their 50th Anniversary "Be the Spark" grants
are addressing a broad array of social and health
related topics such as food and housing access,
mental health, cultural enrichment, human
trafficking, and environment and sustainability.
This kind of work challenges all of us to re-think
what it means to be healthy, and sets the bar
for the kind of work we all need to engage in
to make the Lehigh Valley one of the healthiest
communities in the country.

About two years ago, I joined the board of
the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation
(LVCF), and this work has helped me even more
to appreciate the true definition of a healthy
community. LVCF's purpose is "connecting
people who care with causes that matter" and
they are an excellent example of an organization
striving to make our local community healthier
It's time for a paradigm shift if we want
by addressing the social determinants of health
to become a world leader in health
through a collective impact approach. LVCF
to recognize that to make our
takes a broad view of thinking about what makes
healthier we need to put the
our local communities thrive, providing grants to
the Social Determinants of
local organizations to promote the arts, education,
health, and environmental sustainability. In Health. We need to take lessons from the Blue
the past few years they have added multi-year Zones and the town of Roseto, and look to
impact grants to encourage local organizations to promote social capital, to help folks reconnect
collaborate with others on longer-term systems with one another and find purpose in their
change work that can really make a difference. work. We must expand our definition of

14 Lehigh County Health & Medicine | WINTER 2018

health to include access to a good education,
employment and cultural opportunities that
build social capital. We need health care,
education, business, government and social
agencies to come together to collectively look
for solutions to the complex societal issues
that hinder our progress in becoming not only
the richest nation in the world, but also the
healthiest. There is great work underway right
now in the Lehigh Valley, and the more all of
us partner with the innovators of collective
impact the better off we will all be. If we all
work together to "Be the Spark" that makes
our community healthier the social cohesion
and life of purpose that results will benefit
all of us!
Bonnie Coyle, MD, Medical Director, St. Luke's
Community Health Department, is a member of our Board
of Governors of Lehigh Valley Community Foundation.


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of LCHM Winter18

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