Kansas City, Missouri, is one of 50 members in the HealthyCommunity50 in the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge to receive a $10,000 community seed award, placing the City in the running for an even larger cash prize to support its violence prevention program.
The Challenge, a partnership between the Aetna Foundation, the American Public Health Association and the National Association of Counties, will award $1.5 million to small and mid-sized cities, counties and federally-recognized tribes that are able to implement health innovations and data-driven solutions that show measurable change over the course of several years.
The HealthyCommunity50 were chosen based on plans to improve the health of their communities in at least one of five domains: healthy behaviors, community safety, built environment, social/economic factors and environmental exposures.
Through the Challenge, the Kansas City Health Department and the health commission’s Violence Free KC Committee will work to ensure that violence prevention efforts are better coordinated in order to achieve safe, caring communities throughout the City.
This project comes at a critical time as violent crimes across Kansas City make headlines.
“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 & Counties Challenge to serve as a catalyst for collaboration in local communities around the country working to move the needle in combating health disparities.”
An expert panel will visit Kansas City to get a first-hand look at the community’s approach to the project and speak with team leaders and key stakeholders. Ultimately, the programs most able to show measurable change become eligible for awards ranging from $25,000 – $500,000. Participants are judged on their own progress and do not compete against each other. For more information, visit www.healthiestcities.org.