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Health & Safety

Strengthen communities to be healthy, resilient and safe places for all residents and businesses

The 7 objectives in STAR’s Health & Safety Goal Area recognize that the development of healthy, safe, and resilient communities requires proactive efforts to prevent disease, injury, and premature death by fortifying protective factors and reducing risk factors that undermine healthy outcomes.

Several objectives are closely focused on reducing obesity and preventing related illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. HS-1: Active Living encourages physical activity for adults and kids through community design and activities that promote walking, bicycling, and other forms of recreation. HS-4: Food Access & Nutrition measures the accessibility of fresh, healthful food and recognizes efforts to encourage healthy eating. HS-2: Community Health serves as the overall, composite measure of public health and integration of health considerations into local decision-making. HS-5: Health Systems addresses the structural and professional components of health care in the community, such as hospitals, clinics, and providers.

The remaining objectives address planning efforts to prevent and alleviate the impacts of hazardous events, emergency situations, violence, and crime. HS-6: Hazard Mitigation focuses on reducing vulnerability to existing community risk areas. HS-3: Emergency Management & Response evaluates the preparedness of emergency responders to efficiently and effectively respond to emergencies. HS-7: Safe Communities, seeks to reduce violence and crime through proven prevention strategies.

Objective Number Objective Title and Purpose


Active Living: Enable adults and kids to maintain healthy, active lifestyles by integrating physical activity into their daily routines 


Community Health: Achieve positive health outcomes and minimize health risk factors associated with behaviors and poor indoor air quality in schools and homes 


Emergency Management & Response: Reduce harm to humans and property by utilizing collaborative approaches to increase capability and capacity to respond to emergency incidents 


Food Access & Nutrition: Ensure that adults and children of all income levels have physical and economic access to fresh and healthful food and have opportunities to learn about nutritious eating and food safety 


Health Systems: Provide high quality local health systems that are accessible and responsive to community needs 


Hazard Mitigation: Reduce or eliminate the long-term risk to life and property from existing hazard events through an on-going process that occurs before, during, and after disasters 


Safe Communities: Prevent and reduce crime and increase perceptions of safety through interagency collaboration and with residents as empowered partners 

Each of the above objectives contains quantitative outcome and qualitative action measures. To see the evaluation measures, view the Health & Safety section of the rating system.

Top Achieving Communities

  • Cambridge, MA: 94.3/100, 5-STAR Certified Community
  • Seattle, WA: 90.9/100, 5-STAR Certified Community
  • Northampton, MA: 87.2/100, 5-STAR Certified Community
  • Baltimore, MD: 84.8/100, 5-STAR Certified Community
  • Tucson, AZ: 80.2/1004-STAR Certified Community