A “Bright Spot” is defined as an Appalachian county that has better-than-expected health outcomes given its characteristics and resource levels.

Through the Creating a Culture of Health in Appalachia initiative’s Bright Spots data analysis, each of the Appalachian Region’s 420 counties were assessed on a range of health, socioeconomic, and other indicators. A total of 42 counties were classified as Bright Spots.

This identification process laid the foundation for the initiative’s next step: exploring local approaches in the Bright Spot communities that may be replicated in other communities to help build better health outcomes. Case studies were conducted on 10 of the 42 Bright Spots, allowing researchers to learn about local activities, programs, and values that may have helped these communities achieve better-than-expected health outcomes.

Learn about the Bright Spot identification process

Read the Bright Spot community case studies

Bright Spot Communities

(42 total)

  • Alabama: Hale County
  • Georgia: Catoosa County, Whitfield County
  • Kentucky: Adair County, Green County, Lewis County, Lincoln County, McCreary County, Morgan County, Pulaski County, Russell County, Wayne County
  • Mississippi: Chickasaw County, Choctaw County, Marshall County, Noxubee County
  • New York: Schoharie County, Tioga County
  • North Carolina: Alleghany County, Henderson County, Madison County
  • Pennsylvania: Beaver County, Potter County
  • Tennessee: Bledsoe County, Jefferson County, Johnson County, Meigs County, Monroe County, Sequatchie County, Sullivan County
  • Virginia: Floyd County, Grayson County, Lee County, Rockbridge County
  • West Virginia: Calhoun County, Clay County, Grant County, Hardy County, Taylor County, Pendleton County, Roane County, Wirt County