Kent County Health Department

Kent County Health Department

Well Design Studio was engaged by Kent County Health Connect to create a campaign using CDC REACH grant funds. The objective was the concept and execution of a localized health campaign that encourages Kent County to engage in healthier behaviors.

The foundation of this campaign was the Healthy Corner Stores program, which creates small oases of fresh food in Kent County food deserts. These are often overlooked by those using the corner stores, and the primary directive was to develop a campaign that called attention to this program. Well’s work would be to create the concept; develop the messaging, materials and original design; design and develop a web presence for the campaign; and support the KCHC staff as they made the campaign public in Fall 2018.

Using a community-centered-design approach, Well researched at the point of use – the Grand Rapids area Healthy Corner Stores – looking to understand the motivations of the Kent citizens who would receive the messaging. The “light bulb moment” came when we asked who had taught them about healthy behaviors.

Every one of the interviewees brought up an influencer – mother, grandmother, older brother, neighbor or another person key to their understanding of good health. When we asked what they learned, the answers were almost always commonplace, but the impact was profound and had stuck with them since they first heard it.

Using this as the compelling common thread, we created the GET REAL campaign, which centered on everyday Kent County residents lending common sense advice to the effort. From a Fulton Street Farmer’s Market worker emphasizing the health impact of simple eating, to a mother of three recommending a nature-rich childhood, these simple, actionable pieces of advice were the spark that inspired every other part of the campaign.

To supplement these bits of wisdom, we created easy-to-use resource cards, which helped users find 25+ ways to Eat Real, Live Real, Be Real and Grow Real in the Grand Rapids area. The cards included activities such as hiking Provin Trails and enjoying free yoga at Fountain Street Church. The rest of the campaign included posters, outdoor billboards, a program guide, bus boards, a website, and many more print and digital assets.

All assets were developed in English and Spanish, and included original photos and voices of real Kent County residents living – and encouraging each other to live – their healthiest lives.

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