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Strategy Toolkit

Strategy HCO4.6: Provide ongoing support to maintain the WNC Vitality Index.

Strategy Description

The Western North Carolina Vitality Index reports on the 27 counties of Western North Carolina through the perspectives of the region’s natural, social, built, and economic environments. Designed to assist local governments, interest groups, and the public, the Vitality Index provides the information necessary to:

  • Preserve the heritage and culture that defines our communities while strengthening public health,
  • Improve the region’s local economic activity and expand its influence,
  • Promote development that accommodates healthy growth,
  • Protect our region’s abundant and unique natural resources, and
  • Compare the western region’s status to the rest of North Carolina and the nation at large.

Funding for the creation and development, maintenance, and expansion of this important resource has come through the support of local organizations, including the USDA Forest Service, the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, UNC Asheville's National Environmental Model and Analysis Center, the Asheville Board of Realtors, the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Duke Energy, and the Buncombe County Department of Health.

Continued support from organizations such as these will assure the long-term viability and expansion of the Index into new geographic and topic areas.

Additional Information / Case Studies


HCO4: Strengthen regional health literacy through public education, outreach, and planning to create healthy communities in the region.