The idea of creating AHC emerged in the mid 1990s when a group of individuals from the health care sector came together to discuss how to strengthen community groups and increase public participation in defining and solving health issues. These discussions led to the development of an engaging process that enabled central Edmonton neighbourhood residents to voice their views and concerns about wellness and healthcare reform. As a result of this process, Action for Healthy Communities Society of Edmonton was formed.

The name of the society was Edmonton Health Care Citizenship Society (EHCS) until June 2007. It was incorporated in 1995 under the Societies Act and in 1999 as a charitable organization