The City of Bloomington will be part of a new, nation-wide health initiative.

Bloomington is one of 50 cities chosen for a $60,000 Invest Health grant.

The money will be used over the next 18 months to help city leaders improve health outcomes in under-served and low-income areas.

“Health issues arise because the structure, the whole structure of the community is not working to improve the individual’s health,” explained Nicole Aune, Health Promotion Manager for the McLean County Health Department.

Several groups from the area will collaborate for the project, including both Advocate BroMenn Medical Center and OSF St. Joseph Hospital, the United Way, the Health Department, and the city.

Sally Gambacorta, with Advocate BroMenn said, “By bringing everyone together, we can really make some substantial changes, you know, that we would not be able to make individually as organizations by ourselves. I think it takes everyone together.”

The planning team will travel to national conferences to learn from other communities. By the end of the program, leaders hope to have action plans ready to implement, like easy access to health care and grocery stores with healthy food in underserved areas.