In April 2014, HICCup, a national nonprofit organization founded by angel investor Esther Dyson, announced “a healthy challenge to create the healthiest communities.” The challenge, referred to as The Way to Wellville, was designed to encourage a rethinking of how we produce health. HICCup was looking for five communities that could demonstrate a cohesive, collaborative, and committed community of 100,000 people or less that could stay the course for a five-year journey.
On April 23, a core team of representatives from the Mary Black Foundation, City of Spartanburg, USC Upstate, Spartanburg Medical Center, and HealthPlotter decided that the City of Spartanburg would be a competitive applicant. After an initial proposal, Spartanburg was named 1 of 16 communities (out of 42) invited to submit a full proposal. More than 25 community partners came together to help develop our full proposal. On August 1, we conducted a site visit for 3 representatives of the HICCup Board of Advisors and on August 14, HICCup publicly announced the 5 communities:
City of Spartanburg, SC
Clatsop County, Oregon
Greater Muskegon, Michigan
Lake County, California
Niagara Falls, New York
HICCup kicked off The Way to Wellville during the Next Step conference in Tampa, FL on September 16. We connected with representatives from the other four communities and learned more about this journey that we’ll embark on together. Our team also participated in the MediFuture conference on September 17-18 as participants in The Way to Wellville.
On October 22, 2014, we hosted a gathering of community representatives to share an update on our trip to Tampa and The Way to Wellville so far. If you missed the meeting, you can view the presentation slides.
We will launch The Way to Wellville in January 2015. Stay tuned for what will be coming next!