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Skyward presents ‘Jumpstart’ grants to LiveWell initiatives in five NKY pilot communities

Bill Scheyer, president of Skyward, and Steve Mathisen, co-chair LiveWell Coalition (Photo provided

Bill Scheyer, president of Skyward, and Steve Mathisen, co-chair LiveWell Coalition (Photo provided

Skyward, the organization charged with developing and managing Northern Kentucky’s five-year strategic plan (myNKY), announced it has awarded $5,000 Jumpstart grants to each of the pilot LiveWell NKY community coalitions.

The grants, which will be overseen by the LiveWell NKY Advisory Council, will support the work of LiveWell NKY coalitions in Covington, Ft. Mitchell, Gallatin County, Ludlow and Newport.

A community-wide initiative designed to improve the health of Northern Kentucky residents, LiveWell NKY is a key strategy of the myNKY work plan and is structured around the premise that policies and environments enable healthy behaviors.

The Jumpstart grants will support the first-year action plans for each of the pilot communities. The coalitions created the plans and identified projects by reviewing community data, getting stakeholder input and focusing on overall LiveWell NKY goals. Health educators from the Northern Kentucky Health Department evaluated the coalitions’ goals to ensure that the action plans will be effective in improving community health.

“The community coalitions are the foundation of the LiveWell NKY movement. The Jumpstart grants demonstrate the potential power of communities coming together to improve the overall health and wellness of Northern Kentucky.  It’s exciting to see the progress that has been made to move LiveWell forward and see these first steps toward positive health change in our pilot communities,” said Sarah Giolando, Senior Vice-President and Chief Strategy Officer, St. Elizabeth Healthcare and LiveWell NKY Advisory Council member.

Highlights of the community action plans include:

o   Establishing walking routes with signage and promotions;
o   Making enhancements to the local farmer’s market;
o   Creating a walking path along the riverfront that connects with the existing sidewalks;
o   Making improvements and repairs to riverfront parks;
o   Creating community programing such as yoga, nutrition classes and other healthy activities at a park;
As the current pilot communities kick off their action plans, LiveWell NKY is simultaneously developing a LiveWell ambassador program to inspire individual behavior change and identifying additional faith-based, worksite and community coalitions to add each year.

“Our goal for LiveWell NKY is to really ignite an uprising within the community to build a movement toward a culture of health,” said Nancy Costello, Director of Health Initiatives at Skyward. “We want to make the healthy choice the easy choice for residents by giving them access to healthy food and environments where they live, work, learn, play and worship.” 

To learn more about the LiveWell NKY initiative, or to get involved, visit www.livewellnky.org. Financial and in-kind support for LiveWell NKY community coalitions comes from St. Elizabeth Healthcare and Northern Kentucky Health Department.

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