Healthy Adams County
- Need: Health initiatives in rural Pennsylvania communities to address locally-identified health disparities.
- Intervention: Healthy Adams County was created by its rural community members to promote community-wide health.
- Results: Community task forces have been formed to address breast cancer prevention, food policies, behavioral health, health literacy, oral health, tobacco prevention, and other rural, community-identified needs.
Adams County started in 1996 as a community-wide
initiative to improve the health of residents in rural
Adams County, Pennsylvania. The idea for the initiative
stemmed from a survey conducted by the Council that
identified local health disparities.
The Council, made up of community members, has continued
to spearhead this effort to include widespread community
involvement to address and solve social determinants of
health throughout the region. Efforts are taken to
develop short-term, high-impact projects as well as
long-term, systems-level change.
Partners and funders for Healthy Adams County include:
Healthy Adams County community task forces include:
- Adams County Womens Cancer Coalition
- Promotes education, screening, and early
detection of breast cancer. Coalition members have
personal experiences with breast cancer.
- Supports the Adams County Mammography Help Fund,
which has decreased the annual screening mammogram
cost for uninsured women over 40 years of age.
Food Policy Council
- Awarded a 2016-2017
USDA Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Grant,
continued with funding from the Gettysburg Hospital
Foundation, for a Fruit and Veggie Bucks incentive
- Recipients can redeem coupons at 2 grocery store
locations in the county.
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
recipients receive a 50 cent on the dollar incentive
when purchasing produce.
- The program encourages the sale of local produce
and promotes farm-to-institution initiatives.
- Behavioral Health Task Force
- Educates community members how to cultivate an
environment that can improve mental/behavioral health
and quality of life.
- Improves access to behavioral health services.
- Provides education to the community regarding
mental/behavioral health issues and trends, including
Mental Health First Aid, Question, Persuade, Refer
(QPR) and Trauma Informed Trainings.
- Partnering with the Lebanon VA to provide Suicide
Prevention Campaign materials.
- Health Literacy Task Force
- Utilizes the University of North Carolina Medical
Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit,
which provides tools for connecting with patients
who have different literacy levels.
- Helps providers understand cultural barriers and
how to use plain language when speaking with
- Conducting focus groups to research gaps in
navigating services and education for residents ages
30-60 applying for disability assistance.
- Providing classes on Insurance Literacy.
- Oral Health Task Force
- Works with the Adams Dental Center to offer
dental care to Head Start students, Migrant Head
Start students, and those in the county foster care
- Works with Family First
Health, a Federally Qualified Health Center to
bring dental care to uninsured and underinsured
- Tobacco Prevention Task Force
- Works to reduce air pollution and nicotine
addition in Adams County.
In addition, a collaborative called Community Wellness
Connections is a 2-year wellness campaign a part of
Healthy Adams County that focuses on mind, body, spirit,
and community. The collaborative works to educate the
community on these dimensions through events that take
place every 3 months that provide awareness low-cost
opportunities for activities. At these event, community
members will be eligible for incentives.
For more information on services and upcoming events,
visit the Healthy Adams County Facebook
Over 300 community volunteers tackle health and human
service needs by serving on one of 12 task force teams. A
few successes of task force teams include:
- The Behavioral Health Task Force partnered with
County Coalition and WellSpan Health
to create a website called Feeling Blue to
- In 2022, 370 individuals signed up for the Fruit and
Veggie Buck SNAP program. Most participants indicated
they were able to purchase a greater amount of produce,
buy more variety, and eat healthier. View more
information about the program on their
- The Adams Dental Center sees
over 300 children annually and an average of 650 visits
are made per year. The collaboration with Family First
Health has led to increased access to medical and dental
For more detailed results:
Awards and Recognition:
Healthy Adams County utilizes health needs assessments in
order to accurately identify the most prominent health
risks and leading causes of illness and death throughout
the community. This dictates the implementation of
topic-specific task forces.
The most recent
2022 Community Health Needs Assessment for Adams County
and four other counties in the region was a means of
finding these health disparities and subsequent costs and
Items that are specifically looked at in these
- Access to healthcare
- Health-related behavioral risks
- Prevention behaviors and context
Community engagement and volunteerism
Networking and collaboration
Social determinants of health
Wellness, health promotion, and disease prevention
June 10, 2016
Date updated or reviewed
August 25, 2023
Suggested citation: Rural Health Information Hub,
Healthy Adams County [online]. Rural Health Information Hub. Available at:
[Accessed 27 September 2023]
Please contact the models and innovations contact directly for the most complete and current information
about this program. Summaries of models and innovations are provided by RHIhub for your convenience. The
programs described are not endorsed by RHIhub or by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Each rural
community should consider whether a particular project or approach is a good match for their community’s
needs and capacity. While it is sometimes possible to adapt program components to match your resources, keep
in mind that changes to the program design may impact results.