Healthy Eating & Active Living

Communities across the nation are facing a growing prevalence of obesity and associated preventable chronic diseases – the Tri-State is no different. Currently, in our region, one-third of adults are obese – higher than the national average. Tri-State children are also affected, with a third of our youth either obese or overweight. Unfortunately, excess weight dramatically increases the risk of many conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and some cancers. In January 2016, the World Health Organization warned, “…obesity is particularly concerning and has the potential to negate many of the health benefits that have contributed to increased life expectancy.” In their 2012 report, Trust for America’s Health cautioned, “…the current generation of young people could be the first in U.S. history to live sicker and die younger than their parents’ generation.” The solution is not in access to health care alone because obesity is difficult and expensive to treat. Prevention is necessary – through community solutions focused on policy, systems, and environmental changes – ultimately leading to lifestyles that incorporate healthy eating and active living.

Recommended Physical Activity

Similar to the nation, just half, 51% of adults in our region are meeting the recommended guidelines of activity for good health. Around 2 in 10 adults in our region report NO leisure-time physical activity. Roughly 150 minutes of aerobic physical activity per week is recommended. The benefits of regular physical activity are well-documented and can improve the quality and length of life.

U.S. Data 2015 CDC BRFSS*

Data from our HEAL Data Dashboard

Our Investment

A culture of Healthy Eating & Active Living will contribute to the following community changes:

The Foundation has identified four specific priorities that rely on comprehensive planning and systemic change:

Path to Impact

Our Path to Impact is the process by which the positive change that we believe our communities need will be realized through the focus on the priorities listed above.

Community Approaches for Advancing HEAL in the Tri-State Region

For more than 15 years, the Welborn Baptist Foundation (the Foundation) has been investing in communities across 14 counties in order to improve the health and welfare of residents in the Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky Tri-State region it serves. The Foundation refined its grantmaking approach in March 2016 with a commitment to foster a culture of healthy eating and active living by strategically directing resources to support population health improvement.

Linked below is a white paper that describes the urgency of focusing on healthy eating and active living in the Tri-State region. It identifies policy, systems, and environmental change approaches with the potential to 1) increase healthy eating, 2) increase active living, and 3) achieve important co-benefits that, together, will contribute to population health improvement. The paper recognizes that how the work is done is just as important as what work is done. Finally, it outlines critical practices that support the comprehensive, collaborative work required to create and sustain population-level impact.

Click here to view the Community Approaches for Advancing HEAL in the Tri-State Region white paper

HEAL Programming

Upgrade – Your health. Your way

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 ( and corresponding social media was implemented. From there, Upgrade became a recognizable brand sustained through visible projects throughout the community.

Collaborative Projects

Healthy Communities Partnership

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:

Our Commitment to Nonprofit Excellence

We believe that Nonprofit organizations are the lifeblood of our community and that systematic, comprehensive, affordable training and leadership capacity-building opportunities are critically important for both staff and board members – equipping this next generation to lead and govern.

Through our Nonprofit Excellence Impact Area, we are working to provide education and resources to nonprofit leaders so that they are better equipped to lead with excellence and organizations can sustainably thrive.

Learn more about Nonprofit Excellence