Common Agenda, Bright Future: Local and Statewide Obesity Prevention Networks Join Forces



To enhance alignment between the Healthy and Active Communities Network (HACN) and the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity (IAPO), HACN is officially merging with IAPO in 2014. Sharing the common goal of reducing obesity across the state through influencing policy, systems, and environmental change to support healthy living, IAPO and HACN work on similar issues and share many partners. Strengthening the connection between IAPO and HACN will reinforce and enhance the great work happening in communities across the state. HACN’s extensive statewide network of partners and local knowledge of communities across Illinois will be a wonderful asset in informing and advancing IAPO’s policy agenda, and IAPO’s work to develop tools, resources, and state-level change will positively impact the work HACN members are doing across the state. Formalizing the relationship between HACN and IAPO fosters further alignment between local, community-based efforts and statewide work.

HACN will continue its mission to be a peer learning network of local coalitions and community partnerships working towards sustainable improvements in healthy eating and active living.  But now, HACN members will have more access to the resources of the statewide groups that comprise IAPO, and IAPO will be able to leverage deeper connections with communities and local policy makers to achieve change.

Elissa Bassler, CEO of the Illinois Public Health Institute, believes that integrating the two initiatives is strategically important. “The coalitions in HACN are our on-the-ground local implementers and innovators, and they play a critcial role in informing our state-level policy agenda,” Bassler said.  “Formalizing the relationship between IAPO and HACN allows us to better leverage our resources and maximize our collective impact health and quality of life for the people of Illinois.”

Announcement: HACN is happy to welcome Christy Filby, Community Wellness Executive of the Two Rivers YMCA in Rock Island County and HACN co-chair as the HACN representative on the IAPO Leadership Council and Steering Committee. HACN is still seeking a second co-chair. If you are interested in co-chairing in 2014, please contact Janna Simon at




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