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Skyward launches LiveWell NKY initiative to improve the health of Northern Kentuckians

Skyward (formerly Vision 2015), the organization charged with developing and managing Northern Kentucky’s strategic plan (myNKY), along with key partners has announced the creation of LiveWell NKY, a community-wide initiative designed to improve the health of Northern Kentucky residents.

A key strategy of the myNKY plan’s health goal is to move an additional 9 percent of residents into excellent or very good health status. LiveWell NKY will provide Northern Kentucky with a common vision for a culture of good health.

Mary Singler, Health Promotion Manager with the Northern Kentucky Health Department,speaks to stakeholders at the LiveWell NKY Action Institute training session. The session took place at Griffin Elite Sports & Wellness Center in Erlanger (provided photo).

Mary Singler, Health Promotion Manager with the Northern Kentucky Health Department,speaks to stakeholders at the LiveWell NKY Action Institute training session. The session took place at Griffin Elite Sports & Wellness Center in Erlanger (provided photo).

The program, which has recently launched its pilot phase, will focus on helping communities, worksites, schools, and faith-based organizations pursue health goals in the areas of physical activity, improved nutrition, and tobacco-free environments. Based on the implementation of policies and environmental changes that drive improved health, organizations will be awarded “LiveWell” status.

“For many years, health programs have focused on individual behavior, assuming that if you teach people what will make them healthy, they will find a way to do it,” said Skyward President Bill Scheyer. “Unfortunately, being healthy is not just about individual choices. Today, we’re realizing that it’s not enough to know how to be healthy – you need practical, readily available healthy options around you.

“That’s where policy, system and environmental (PSE) change comes in. Health programs and events are important, but PSE strategies support long-term sustainable change at the larger community level.”

In support of these PSE strategies, St. Elizabeth Healthcare provided Skyward with a $100,000 grant to kick off the LiveWell NKY initiative. LiveWell NKY has launched in five pilot communities – Covington, Newport, Ludlow, Ft. Mitchell and Gallatin County.

Coalitions of more than 60 key stakeholders from the pilot communities participated in an Action Institute at Griffin Elite Sports & Wellness center recently. The goal was to learn about evidence-based health strategies, review community data, and begin developing strategies for engaging their stakeholders in the LiveWell NKY movement.

The funds are being leveraged for community-wide marketing efforts that include the development and launch of a LiveWell NKY website (www.livewellnky.org) and video, as well as training materials/sessions, coalition technical assistance, and support for the five LiveWell NKY pilot communities.

“Health serves as the foundation for so many facets of our community,” said St. Elizabeth Healthcare CEO Garren Colvin. “We are excited to not only support a collaborative model like LiveWell NKY, but to support myNKY’s goal and St. Elizabeth’s vision of making Northern Kentucky one of the healthiest communities in America.”

In addition to the community coalitions, a LiveWell School initiative has been developed through the existing Northern Kentucky Health Department coordinated school health program, The program aims to support environmental change through school health recognition and school policy improvements.

Schools currently participating are Newport Middle School, Grant County Middle School, Beechwood Independent School District, and Ockerman Elementary School in Florence.

Skyward logo

Skyward, in its capacity as collective impact “backbone organization,” and the Livewell Steering Committee of key partners are providing overall program direction for LiveWell NKY. Skyward is also contributing full-time staff support, data resources, marketing technical assistance and a web-based portal to facilitate collaborative progress across the region.

Health educators from the Northern Kentucky Health Department assisted with the design of the LiveWell NKY program and will work closely with local coalitions as they implement the healthy community strategies.

Additional LiveWell NKY partners include HealthPoint Family Care, Interact for Health, Three Rivers District Health Department, United Way of Greater Cincinnati, Flottman FUSIONWRX, and Viable Synergy.

“The Northern Kentucky community is ready to take action and positively improve its collective health rankings,” said Dr. Lynne M. Saddler, District Director of Health with the Health Department. “We are excited to support the implementation of this component of the myNKY plan, and to be part of a collective approach that works together to create health environments and cultures that will no doubt improve the lives of Northern Kentuckians.”

As the current pilot communities and schools are launched, LiveWell NKY is simultaneously developing a LiveWell “ambassador” program and identifying additional faith-based, worksite and community coalitions to launch throughout 2016.

To learn more about the LiveWell NKY initiative, click here .

Skyward is  the engineer of myNKY, a community-driven five-year strategic work plan designed to elevate Northern Kentucky to new heights. Skyward’s purpose is to make Northern Kentucky thrive by connecting education, wellness, business and culture in innovative, inclusive, productive ways, as outlined in the myNKY plan.

For more information about skyward click here .


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