Healthy Neighborhoods as an Economic Development Strategy – archived webinar

Originally presented Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Click Here to View Recorded Webinar 

Presentation Slides in PDF

Webinar flyer


Freeport, Illinois’ Third Ward Healthy Neighborhoods Project engages residents in improving their own health and well-being by promoting healthier, more vital neighborhoods. The project is a collaboration between three core partners – Third Ward residents, the City of Freeport, and the Stephenson County Health Department – as well as various other government and community partners, to bring attention and resources to address the health concerns of low-income, traditionally hard-to-reach residents living near Freeport’s “brownfield” sites. Brownfields are land previously used for industrial purposes or commercial uses that may have low-levels of contamination and prove a barrier to redevelopment (e.g., from dry cleaners, gas stations, etc). The model used to engage and empower residents of Freeport’s Third Ward is not specific to a brownfield-related initiative and could be duplicated elsewhere.

Freeport’s Brownfields Initiative, active since 1999, has transformed in recent years into a more cohesive and comprehensive Freeport Revitalization Initiative that integrates a holistic view of residents’ health concerns and addresses the fundamental social and environmental determinants of health. The partners recognize that community health and wellness is affected by a many interconnected factors, such as socioeconomic status, transportation, housing, race and ethnicity, education, and the environment.

Participants in this webinar will learn about the Third Ward Healthy Neighborhood Project’s model for engaging and empowering hard-to-reach populations in redeveloping their own community and improving wellness. A representative of each of the three core partners will discuss their role in the project and how their participation has affected their perspective and ideas for future collaboration.



As a result of the Webinar, participants will be able to:

1. Describe an effective model for empowering hard-to-reach populations as leaders and change agents in redeveloping their communities

2. Describe the process and value of shifting the dialogue about health from disease-specific issues and health care to healthy communities and neighborhoods

3. Identify the benefits of and opportunities for collaboration between the public health and community and economic development sectors


Target Audience

This webinar is intended for people working towards more healthy and vital communities from a range of sectors, including economic development, planning, housing, public health, and community-based organizations.




• Shelly Griswold, Director, Community Development, City of Freeport, Illinois

• Daneice Davis, Co-Chair, Community Activities Partnership (CAPS) in Freeport, Illinois

• Craig Beintema, Public Health Administrator, Stephenson County Health Department