This project evaluated an existing community program, the Healthy Okotoks Coalition (HOC), which encourages citizen involvement and enhances the capacity of indigenous leadership to address local concerns. Researchers developed a set of outcomes and process measurement tools and tried to identify barriers, apply the findings to improve the processes, and develop a blueprint for evaluating future “Healthy Communities” projects. The study found that the HOC achieved 24 community changes that it believed had increased opportunities for healthy living, including a community garden, a skateboard park, increased awareness of fetal alcohol syndrome, and a youth curfew. However, the HOC did not extend itself into the community to the extent that members felt was necessary to be representative of community needs, particularly those of marginalized groups.
The full report for this project is available on the Alberta Health and Wellness web site at http://www.health.gov.ab.ca/system/key/phc/projects/Headwaters/Okotoks/description.htm
This project was supported by the Health Transition Fund, which was created in 1997 to provide support for evidence-based decision-making in health care reform by supporting pilot and evaluation projects which test innovative approaches to health care delivery. The views expressed herein do no necessarily represent the official policy of federal, provincial, or territorial governments.