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Healthy Eating & Active Living Initiatives




The HEROES Initiative (Healthy, Energetic, Ready, Outstanding, Enthusiastic, Schools), a program of the Welborn Baptist Foundation, is a grant-funded multi-level and multiple-year intervention in Southern Indiana, Northwestern Kentucky, and Southeastern Illinois, states with some of the highest obesity rates in the United States. The HEROES Initiative aims to facilitate systems change within individual schools by implementing the coordinated school health (CSH) approach and helps schools decrease childhood obesity and increase healthy lifestyle habits among students, their families, and school staff. Through HEROES, the Welborn Baptist Foundation provides a supportive infrastructure for participating schools that involves local oversight, substantial funding, and prescribed implementation strategies that can be tailored based on schools’ individual needs and identities. The intervention uses the CSH approach, implemented at the school level rather than the more typical district level, which encourages individual schools to take ownership over needs assessment, planning, and implementation of strategies for school change. HEROES also includes a rigorous evaluation framework, which has created an annual cycle of assessment and related opportunities for program enhancement to best meet students’ needs and increase the likelihood of the intervention’s success.

Upgrade Logo


The Upgrade campaign was started in 2009 with one overall objective in mind – to help area residents learn and adopt small lifestyle changes that could lead to large health improvements. While it started as a print and radio media effort, it was accelerated through the CPPW funding awarded to the Foundation via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Indiana State Department of Health. One requirement of the grant was that funding go toward increasing awareness of healthy eating and active living through paid media. Upgrade developed a multi-media plan involving television, radio, print and outdoor venues. In addition, a website (UPGRADENOW.ORG) and corresponding social media was implemented. From there, Upgrade became a recognizable brand sustained through visible projects throughout the community including but not limited to:

YMCA’s Upgrade Bike Rental

Upgrade Menu Labeling

Upgrade Wayfinding Signage

Collaborative Projects

Healthy Communities Partnership of Southwest Indiana  

The Welborn Baptist Foundation is a proud partner of the Healthy Communities Partnership of Southwest Indiana (HCP). The HCP is a cross-sector collaboration working to implement policy, system, and environmental changes towards pressing health concerns with a strategic focus on what has been identified as priorities by the area hospitals’ community health needs assessment and the Welborn Baptist Foundation’s 2015 Tri-State Health Survey. More information can be found at:

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