Healthy Communities Corridor Project Recognized
Wyandotte County has been selected as one of 50 members of the HealthyCommunity50 in the Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge to receive a $10,000 community seed award. By participating in the Challenge, Wyandotte County is in the running to receive additional funding that will support their local Healthy Communities Corridor project. The Challenge, a partnership between the Aetna Foundation, the American Public Health Association and the National Association of Counties, launched in April during National Public Health Week. The Challenge will award $1.5 million in prizes to small and mid-sized cities, counties and federally-recognized tribes that are able to show measurable change over the course of several years working with cross-sector partnerships to implement health innovations and date-driven solutions. Hundreds of city governments, local municipalities, health departments, educational institutions and other public/private entities applied to be part of the Challenge. Only 50 were selected across the country.
Through the Challenge, a collaborative effort between the Wyandotte County Parks Department (the lead agency), the Wyandotte County Health Department, the Community Health Council of Wyandotte County, the KU School of Architecture, Design and Planning, and other community leaders and organizations came together. (The list of the complete cross-sector team is available upon request.)
That group identified the Healthy Communities Corridor as an area to receive special emphasis in Wyandotte County to increase community access to physical activity, nutritious food, and other resources to improve health outcomes for those communities. The corridor (map attached) directly impacts more than half of the population of Wyandotte County. According to Jeremy Rogers, Wyandotte County Parks and Recreation Director, "This highly collaborative initiative will work to combine programming enhancements, infrastructure improvements and policy recommendations to have a lasting impact on community equity and health outcomes for Wyandotte County."
"At the Aetna Foundation, we're seeking to reward innovation for communities implementing new ways to improve health outcomes," said Dr. Garth Graham, president of the Aetna Foundation. "We want the Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenges to serve as a catalyst for collaboration in local communities around the country working to move the needle in combating health disparities."
All selected HealthyCommunity50 members will be visited by an expert judging panel to answer questions, understand the community's approach to the project first-hand and speak with the members of the cross-sector team and key stakeholders. At the conclusion of the Challenge, the programs most able to show measurable change will be eligible for prize awards from $25,000 to $500,000. Participants will be judged on their own progress and will not be competing against each other. For more information, visit www.healthiestcities.org.
For ongoing information on the local campaign for the Healthy Communities Corridor in Wyandotte County, you may visit the Facebook page for the 202020Movement, and on Twitter follow the hashtag of #HealthyWyCo.