- About Us
About LiveWell Douglas County
Communities where we all thrive.
Leading a movement to build communities that support the health and well-being of all.
LiveWell Lawrence was launched in 2008 when the Douglas County Community Foundation submitted a proposal to the Kansas Health Foundation for funding to address growing rates of chronic disease. The effort was focused on the two primary drivers of chronic disease – lack of access to healthy foods and physical inactivity – largely responsible for today’s obesity epidemic that costs the U.S. health system about $173 billion each year.
What these community leaders recognized is that the rapid increases in rates of chronic disease in recent decades are not likely the result of individual choice or personal failing (which is unfortunately, a prevailing societal view) but something that has arisen through dramatic changes in policies, systems, and environments.
In subsequent years, the coalition broadened its scope, incorporating work to help prevent tobacco use (another leading cause of chronic disease), promoting health in specific settings such as youth-serving organizations and worksites, and addressing other risk factors that lead to poor health outcomes such as domestic violence.
Over time various organizations have provided administrative support to the coalition. For a number of years the coalition operated out of Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health. Since 2019 K-State Research and Extension – Douglas County has served as the coalition home. The coalition has also been supported by numerous grants and other funding streams. The Chronic Disease Risk Reduction grant, funded by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and administered by Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health, has consistently provided financial resources for coalition efforts. In 2015 LiveWell secured its largest single grant, a 3-year, $1.5 million “Partnership to Improve Community Health” grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Currently the coalition is one of 24 communities funded through the Pathways to a Healthy Kansas initiative funded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas. The coalition also receives local support from the health department and the Douglas County Community Foundation.
In 2018, the coalition changed its name to LiveWell Douglas County with a new mission to help build communities where everyone can thrive in Douglas County. Since then it has supported efforts across the county and in all of its municipalities.