Healthy Communities

Healthy Communities

Fairfax County is a place where all people can attain their highest level of health and well-being.

Indicators of Success:

  • Access to Health Services
  • Improving Physical and Behavioral Health Conditions
  • Promoting Health-Related Behaviors

Data Dashboards are being developed for the ten Community Outcome Areas, each with headline metrics that are visually presented to easily review the data that will continuously inform the Countywide Strategic Plan.

The Healthy Communities interactive dashboard provides an overview of the fifteen headline metrics and enables the reader to access more detailed data and a narrative for context and clarity. Headline metrics for the remaining outcome areas will be identified throughout 2023 and 2024. Data will be reviewed regularly to assess trends, inequities, and alignment with the strategies included in the plan.



Fairfax County is committed to providing equitable access to affordable healthcare and healthy living opportunities, allowing all residents to attain their full health potential. Health and well-being are influenced by a wide range of social and economic factors, health behaviors, access to services and environmental quality. For some people, the essential elements for a healthy life are readily available; for others, the opportunities for healthy choices are significantly limited.

It is important to recognize that disparities exist, and have been highlighted and exacerbated by the recent pandemic, especially for people of color who are at a higher risk of COVID-19 due to a multitude of related issues. These include a greater likelihood of underlying health conditions that make some residents more prone to contracting the virus, higher rates of employment in public-facing service jobs, and residing in high-density, multifamily living units which contribute to the spread of communicable diseases.

The strategies in this section seek to advance equitable health outcomes by examining what specific changes in the social determinants of health, the community, and healthy living resources can be made to improve health and wellness for all, especially those who are most vulnerable and have been disproportionately affected, including older adults and children.

Note: The Environment and Energy community outcome area was originally combined with Healthy Communities, but these two areas were separated to ensure adequate focus on each. Therefore, one of the first steps of the implementation process will be to crosswalk the following proposed strategies with countywide plans that are focused on community health, and to make necessary adjustments to ensure total integration and alignment of related work. 

The Healthy Communities dashboard focuses on metrics that Fairfax County Government leaders have reviewed and selected to be monitored throughout the implementation of the Countywide Strategic Plan and to inform decision-making. The dashboard provides analysis of the data in a “story behind the numbers” with contextual details to help its users understand the figures and their trends, as well as any implications and importance of the health topics covered. The Healthy Communities dashboard highlights any health outcome disparities across the various segments of the County’s population.

The Live Healthy Fairfax Community Health Dashboard (CHD) has been in existence for several years and contains a wider range of metrics than the Healthy Communities dashboard. The CHD also includes data for the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church, the Fairfax Health District and the Northern Virginia region, where available. While the Community Health Dashboard offers links to best practices and data sources, no analytical contextual information or “story” are featured. The CHD also houses the Successful Children and Youth Policy Team (SCYPT) outcome areas and indicators.

These proposed strategies were developed based on the extensive background work completed by the Countywide Strategic Planning Teams.  As previously noted, these strategies will be aligned with related work under the Environmental Committee. 

NOTE: Strategies have been re-ordered to fit within their related Indicators of Community Success. Strategies with the * symbol have been added to include recommendations from the Chairman's Task Force on Equity and Opportunity.

Access to Health Services

  • HC 1. Integrate considerations of health, well-being and equity into the development, implementation and evaluation of land use, transportation and housing policies and ordinances.
  • HC 2. Create walkable, bikeable, transit-oriented, dense, mixed-use and connected places that make inviting and vibrant communities with opportunities for recreation and active living for individuals of all ages and abilities.
  • HC 3. Identify barriers to accessing health services for residents in need and align county and community resources to address the underlying factors contributing to underutilization, and to eliminate gaps in services.
  • HC 4. Attract health service providers to underserved geographic areas by incentivizing the provision of care that is culturally and linguistically appropriate, accessible, high quality and affordable.
  • HC 5. Explore innovative financing mechanisms to bolster the flexibility, scalability and sustainability of community health and wellness initiatives.

Improving Physical and Behavioral Health Conditions

  • HC 6. Use enhanced data analysis and population-level data from COVID-19 to better quantify and monitor differences in health outcomes among groups of people to inform work to close the gap on health inequities.
  • HC 7. Foster individual and family resiliency to withstand, adapt to and recover from chronic stress and adverse experiences through early intervention, prevention and trauma-informed care.
  • HC 8. Integrate the delivery of health services (physical, mental, oral and substance use) for those in need through co-locating services and redesigning care providers’ practices and business processes.
  • HC 9. Address substance use through coordinated education efforts for prevention, expanded treatment options and harm reduction actions in collaboration with community partners.
  • * HC 10. Bring together executive leadership from multiple sectors to create a model for collective holistic community healthcare delivery to include the county, hospitals, primary care, and other community health providers, Federally Qualified Health Centers, oral and behavioral health providers, public and private health insurers, employers, schools, and community and faith-based organizations, building upon successes and lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Promoting Health-Related Behaviors

  • HC 11. Create healthier environments on county properties through health-promoting policies and encouraging the use of county properties for active recreational use.
  • HC 12. Promote healthy eating by implementing policies and initiatives that increase access to fresh, affordable and nutritious food options, especially in the geographic areas of the county with the highest rates of food insecurity.
  • HC 13. Implement a comprehensive, coordinated, evidence-based healthy living campaign that is tailored to reach, inform, educate, and motivate people to increase health-promoting behavior across all communities.
  • HC 14. Expand our capacity to effectively reach and engage residents in the design and implementation of health promotion initiatives through strategic partnerships and collaborations.
Fairfax Virtual Assistant