Louisville Putting Prevention to Work

Louisville Awarded $7.9 Million Grant to
Help Improve City’s Collective Health

Louisville’s efforts to make the city healthier have been recognized by the federal government, which recently awarded a $7.9 million grant to help the city achieve its health goals.

The grant will fund 23 city-wide projects that will, among other things, make healthier foods available in schools, will assist students to grow produce, will build community infrastructure to encourage biking and walking, and will make fresh produce more readily available by implementing “Healthy in a Hurry” stores in underserved neighborhoods. The Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness will administer the grant.

“This grant allows us enhance the work of the Healthy Hometown Movement making Louisville a city where all residents have the opportunity to make choices that allow them to live long, healthy lives, regardless of their income, education or ethnic background said Public Health and Wellness Director Dr. Adewale Troutman. “It seeks to make health and wellness part of every community conversation whether it is about the building the environment, educating our kids, the ability to attract new businesses (jobs) or transparency in what we eat and where we live.

When we merged city and county governments in 2003, I looked around our community and noticed major health problems,” Abramson said “We were breathing bad air and eating bad food. We were overweight and were smoking too much. So we implemented the Strategic Toxic Air Reduction program, passed the smoking ban and created the Mayor’s Health Hometown Movement. All of that has contributed to Louisville becoming a healthier place.”

“By supporting these efforts,” Congressman John Yarmuth added, “this Recovery Act funding will go a long way toward building on the good work of Mayor Abramson and Dr. Troutman to curb the preventable illnesses that affect all our families and contribute to higher health care costs for everyone.”

The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and funded by the federal stimulus program. About $373 million in Communities Putting Prevention to Work grants are being awarded to 44 cities across America.

While the grant will seeks to improve health for the entire city, it also focuses on 12 “targeted” neighborhoods. These neighborhoods have populations with the worst health statistics in the city.

Joining the Department of Public Health and Wellness in executing the strategies of this grant are several community partners:  Jefferson County Public Schools, YMCA, TARC, Metro Parks, Louisville Metro Police, Louisville Metro Public Works, Mayor's Office, PolicyLink, The California Block Club Federation, Norton Healthcare, Baptist East, and the University of Louisville.

To learn more details about the proposed community projects funded by the grant contact the project director, Wendy Carlin, at 502-574-6281.

To learn more about Communities Putting Prevention to Work, visit
www.hhs.gov/recovery and www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/recovery.