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LiveWell Douglas County leaders on Friday began formally seeking to hire an Executive Director to provide cohesive leadership and backbone support for this community coalition. The full position description is available on the coalition website, LiveWellDGKS.org.
This position will be responsible for building and maintaining community partnerships and supporting the core functions of the coalition. The successful candidate will be an entrepreneurial, detail-oriented individual with a shared passion for our mission: Leading a movement to build communities that support the health and well-being of all.
Establishing the staff position comes on the heels of Thursday’s announcement that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBSKS) selected the LiveWell Douglas County coalition, along with 23 other communities in Kansas as grantees for its second phase of Pathways to a Healthy Kansas initiative.
The $200,000 grant funds, along with generous contributions from Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health and the Douglas County Community Foundation will allow LiveWell Douglas County to hire a full-time Executive Director to coordinate the efforts of the coalition and strengthen its ability to positively affect change in the health outcomes of Douglas County residents. In addition to staff support, the BCBSKS partnership will provide LiveWell Douglas County the opportunity to apply for non-competitive implementation grants of up to $300,000 to fulfill the Pathways projects.
"We are excited about what the future holds for LiveWell Douglas County and how these grant projects will amplify the amazing work of our coalition,” said LiveWell Chair Joey Hentzler. “I am proud of the project we have committed to which will tangibly impact the lives of our neighbors and help support thriving communities for all residents. The addition of staff to strengthen our organization will strengthen the collaboration of our coalition and realize our mission."
The staff position would further leverage the coalition’s in-kind donations of time and support from community members and allow for dedicated time for securing additional support and resources to expand LiveWell’s efforts in Douglas County, the leaders said. The decision to move forward grew out of conversations and feedback gathered from more than fifty community and work group members during LiveWell’s February retreat.
Established in 2008, LiveWell Douglas County is a cross-sectoral community coalition that works to improve the health and well-being of residents of Lawrence and Douglas County. Since 2013, LiveWell has served as the primary convener of the Douglas County Community Health Plan’s efforts to improve nutrition, food security, physical activity and a healthy-built environment for all county residents.
LiveWell Douglas County’s achievements since its inception include the founding of WorkWell Douglas County and Lawrence Complete Streets, establishment of marathon clubs at local schools, establishment and growth of summer food programs across Douglas County, building trails at Eudora Elementary School, establishment and growth of Double Up Food Bucks, introduction of FuelGood to bring healthy foods and beverage options to public spaces, increased food recovery and redistribution efforts, and creation of the Lawrence Loop.