Following an endorsement by Mayor Tom Dolan and the City Council for a “Healthy Sandy Partnership,” Healthy Sandy Partnership founding member, Gordon Johnson and former Alta View Hospital Administrator Wes Thompson, began to meet with designated representatives from Sandy City, Salt Lake County Health Department, other Intermountain Healthcare representatives, the Jordan School District (which subsequently became the Canyons School District), various religious denominations and other community stakeholders. The program had its genesis in 1995.
One of Gordon Johnson’s first objectives was to define a mission, vision and purpose for the Healthy Sandy Partnership. During the beginning days, Healthy Sandy took on such issues as childhood immunizations, wearing seat belts and helmets, and substance abuse. During the first few years, Healthy Sandy sponsored annual health fairs for the purpose of promoting healthy lifestyles. Sandy Fire and Police Departments provided full support as well as many not-for-profit agencies that set up booths and demonstrations on health, safety, and illness prevention.
Following the first fair, Healthy Sandy was asked to present the show for one occasion at the newly-erected Sandy Amphitheater. Gordon Johnson served as chairman of the Healthy Sandy Partnership for eight years and then returned in 2005 to service on the Steering Committee under the direction of Mayor Dolan. Soon thereafter, Healthy Sandy took on the issue of obesity and formed the “Slim Down Sandy” committee, which Gordon Johnson chaired during its first year after which he chaired the Partnership again. After two years of the successful Slim Down Sandy initiative, Healthy Sandy expanded programs to include nutrition and in 2010, Healthy Sandy Shape Up was launched. With the help of Alta View Hospital, Shape Up also added a “Walk With a Doc” program to Healthy Sandy events at various parks throughout the city. Salt Lake County Health Department has touted Health Sandy as the model and most successful healthy community initiative in Utah.

During 2013, the Healthy Sandy Steering Committee broadened efforts in promoting best health practices by forming a more comprehensive program, in response to many “Healthy Sandy Shape Up” participants who requested a year-long program. This is when efforts began to rebrand Healthy Sandy and a new identity was created along with promotional materials like a booth in order to have a bigger presence at community events.

After forming a special sub-committee, Healthy Sandy introduced a new program in 2014 entitled “Healthy Sandy Summit.” During the year it was fine-tuned and launched in 2015. While it seemed that thousands of organizations focused on diet, exercise, and substance abuse, Healthy Sandy decided to take a holistic approach to health and identified problems and listed challenges in six primary categories: 

  • 1) Nutrition & Physical Activity
  • 2) Controlled Substances & Addictions
  • 3) Medical & Sleep
  • 4) Safety & Preparedness
  • 5) Relationships & Media
  • 6) Service, Worship & Environment.

Healthy Sandy created an annual tracker and adjusted it to meet the needs of the community and school district. It included a beautiful walking stick with medallions that could be attached as someone completed specific challenges. 
In 2015, Healthy Sandy was organized into two categories: Family Wellness (to include “Healthy Sandy Shape Up” and “Healthy Sandy Summit”) and Community Wellness (to include“Anti-Pornography” and “Child-Appropriate Standards.”) Two dedicated volunteers were appointed to head the committees and line up “Fight the New Drug” presentations at various elementary and middle schools. 
In January 2016, Mayor Dolan appointed a new partnership chair, Bryan Johnson, Alta View Hospital’s administrator, after Gordon Johnson had served for sixteen years as the chair (however, Gordon continued to serve on the Healthy Sandy Steering Committee). 
Since that time, various other members of the steering committee have served as the Healthy Sandy partnership chairs including Susan Edwards of Canyons School District, Eric Richards of Sandy City Communications, Darin Butler of Sandy Library, and Charles Otis of the Sandy Senior Center.
In 2018, Sandy City Administration worked to update Healthy Sandy’s mission, vision, and focus. Instead of having volunteers try to run Healthy Sandy programs, the decision was made to have Healthy Sandy focus on promoting programs and initiatives already happening in the community and among the partnership. Additionally, Healthy Sandy would function as a funding source for those who propose assistance for health-related initiatives they do in the Sandy City community. Today, Healthy Sandy is now a recognition body of good healthy practices and promotes the many initiatives already happening in the community. 
In 2022, the Healthy Sandy Champion program was launched where the public can vote for people making a difference through health in our community. Once a quarter, someone is selected by the Healthy Sandy executive committee as a “Champion” who gets recognized at Sandy City Council.

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