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Metro Newsroom

Mayor: Greater Louisville Project on Health

Thursday September 5, 2013

“We all have a stake in creating a healthier community”

Mayor Greg Fischer today applauded the work and findings of the Greater Louisville Project’s Health Advisory Committee during its release of the report: Measuring the Impact of Health on Louisville’s Competitiveness.

“Today’s report affirms what we’ve known and have been working to address through the efforts of our Center for Health Equity and the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement through the leadership of Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt,” Fischer said. “Improving health is everyone’s business, and there is more to health than health care. When we improve social factors such as education, income, nutrition, housing, and neighborhoods we improve the total health of our community.”

The report shows that Louisville ranks 10th among peer cities in health outcomes and recommends that improving those outcomes will directly impact and improve Louisville’s quality of life, prosperity and competitiveness.

Fischer cited ongoing efforts to make Louisville healthier, including:

  • Restructuring the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement to include a Leadership Team made up of all city department directors as well as leaders from key community organizations such as JCPS, TARC, and the Housing Authority to implement a “health in all policies” approach;
  • Creating a Healthy Hometown Community Coalition to develop a community-wide, community-led plan for improving Louisville’s health outcomes;
  • Implementing voluntary smoke-free playgrounds and spray grounds in three Metro Parks (Shawnee, Iroquois, Cherokee);
  • Repurposing vacant and abandoned properties, for use as community gardens;
  • Committing funds for 28 new miles of bike lines in the city’s core, extending the network of bike lanes to encourage more biking for transportation as well as recreation;
  • Continuing to expand the Louisville Loop to provide physical activity opportunities for residents in all areas of Louisville;
  • Improving nutrition by increasing the number of farmers markets that accept WIC, EBT or SNAP benefits
  • Growing our Farm to Table efforts to improve economic development as well as connect more people to locally grown, healthy, fresh food;
  • Launching a more aggressive employee wellness program for city government employees including a surcharge for smokers and the launch of an Employee Wellness Center to encourage wellness, improve health behaviors, and cut healthcare costs;
  • Implementing Healthy Corner Stores in partnership with the YMCA to improve access to fresh, healthy food;
  • Implementing the Asthmapolis project by using a data gathering tool connected to special inhalers that help pinpoint the places and times when people are most likely to suffer an asthma attack;
  • Continuing and expanding events such as the Subway Hike, Bike and Paddle, the Mayor’s Fall Hike and the KentuckyOne Health Four De Lis Classic running series;
  • Launching the Healing Futures Fellowship, a six-week summer program that brings together youth ages 15 to 18 from all areas of Louisville to work together and explore differing views of race, class, culture, gender and equity for understanding and identifying solutions to prevention of injury and violence as a public health issue.

“We’re doing some great work in our quest to become one of the healthiest cities in the country,” Fischer said. “We know there is much work to be done and I challenge the entire community to join us in this effort. The Greater Louisville Project helps to highlight what we’re doing -- and must continue doing -- to get there."