Eastern Shore Healthy Communities (ESHC)

Eastern Shore Healthy Communities (ESHC) works to create healthier communities on the Eastern Shore. It convenes partner organizations and individuals to track health indicators, offer information about what produces health, seek diverse citizen input about creating a healthier community and plan and implement policy, systems and environmental change strategies that focus on leading health issues. ESHC's approach to community health focuses on policy, systems and environmental change because it has a broader impact and is more sustainable than programmatic approaches. For example, tobacco-free work place policies reduce tobacco use and second-hand smoke inhalation for everyone in the workplace. Adoption of recommended physical activity guidelines within school systems impacts students, teachers and parents. Environmental changes, like building bike paths and sidewalks, promote active living and benefit the entire community. And by working with dozens of local government organizations, community members, businesses and schools, ESHC truly takes a community approach to improving health in the Eastern Shore. ESHC accomplishes these goals and others via a number of key initiatives: BMI Data Collection, Community-Academic Partnership, Fitness Challenge, Healthy Options Restaurants, Leadership Institute, Livable Communities, School Audits, Smart Bites, Walking Trails and Wellness Policies. These initiatives include creating a BMI data collection protocol in Northampton and Accomack County Public School Districts; conducting NIH-funded research as part of a Community-Academic Partnership to identify community-sourced ideas for community initiatives; enrolling 1,000 individuals in ACTIVATE Eastern Shore to make healthy eating and fitness choices; branding nutritious and calorie-wise restaurants in order to promote healthy food options in the community; designing an Eastern Shore Leadership Academy with the CDC and National Leadership Academy; championing county and town policy changes; helping students research and change unhealthy food marketing practices in local schools; promoting student civic engagement to lobby local restaurants to serve healthier menu items; developing local walking trails on existing pathways and sidewalks; and working to promote healthier smoking, vending machine and fitness policies with local organizations. More information about these projects can be learned by visiting ESCH's webpage below or utilizing the contact information listed below.


    • Administrative Location

    • Williams Hall - Pediatric Wing
      855 West Brambleton Avenue
      Norfolk, VA 23507
    • Project Location

    • Eastern Shore, VA
    • Project Partner(s)

    • Accomack County Planning Department, Accomack County Public Schools, Cape Charles Planning Department, CDC, CHKD, Coalitions Works, Eastern Shore Community College, Eastern Shore Family YMCA, Eastern Shore Health Departments (Accomack and Northampton Counties), Eastern Shore Rural Health Systems, Inc., Franklin Public Schools, Institute of Medicine, National Academy for Public Health Leadership, National Institute of Child Health and Development, Norfolk Department of Public Health, Norfolk Public Schools, Northampton County Planning Department, Northamtpon County Public Schools, Portsmouth Public Health Department, Portsmouth Public Schools, Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital, VDH, Virginia Department of Transportation, Virginia Foundation of Healthy Youth, Walkable and Livable Communities, Inc.
    • Grant(s)

    • Virginia Department of Health, Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth, Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth, Children's Hospital of the Kings Daughters and EVMS Department of Pediatrics, VDH, Institute of Medicine, National Institutes of Child Health and Development
    • Project Categories

    • Research Scholarship, Community Service
    • Project Scope

    • Local
    • EVMS Department(s)

    • Pediatrics
    • Points of Contact