Village HeartBEAT

Group exercising together, Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenger Winner logo

NEWS UPDATE: Mecklenburg County is the Tier 2 Winner of the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge 

Recognition: Mecklenburg County Health Department's Village HeartBEAT Initiative has empowered faith-based organizations in health priority areas to rewrite the rules of what makes a healthy environment, creating a network of inspiration, collaboration and accountability.  

*Listen to the HC&CC Winners podcast episode with Village HeartBEAT's Cheryl Emanuel.

"I flushed my cigarettes down the toilet after my son expressed concerns about the effects second-hand smoke would have on my unborn grandchild. After going through smoking cessation under Village HeartBEAT, I feel better mentally than I do physically. I just want them [smokers] to know how good it feels to not be a smoker. Because I'm sure at one point in their life they wanted to be off cigarettes, and when they succeed in that, it feels good." - Donald Faulkner, Ben Salem Presbyterian Church
Location: Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, population 990,977
The Problem: Adults are consuming less than five servings of fruits and vegetables each day, reporting low levels of physical activity and using tobacco and vapor products.


community members holding hands in a circle

women smile while at the gym man holds sign at march

Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge Approach: The Mecklenburg County Health Department Village HeartBEAT program is working to reduce the incidence of health disease in several Public Health Priority Areas throughout Mecklenburg County. VHB plans to target faith communities in the area with a goal to access 24,000 congregation members and 6,000 community residents. The project will expand the number of participating faith communities, enhance the network of partner organizations, connect members to community based social services, and provide training for 600 "Health Ambassadors" to create policy changes and promote healthy behaviors within congregations and local communities. Midway through the Challenge, Mecklenburg County was awarded the Spotlight Award. Learn more about the interim award. 

Village HeartBEAT walk

HC50 Learning Network

HealthyCommunity50 finalists can log into the Learning Network to join discussions, connect with fellow finalists, get inspiration and cheer each other on!