On Friday, November 19, about 80 members of the LiveWell Douglas County coalition and community partners gathered at the Cider Gallery for LiveWell’s annual celebration event. Coalition Work Group leaders shared highlights of coalition and community efforts in 2022 and provided insights into what is ahead in 2023.
The Tobacco Free Living Work Group celebrated passage of two ordinances in Lawrence, one which amended the Clean Indoor Air Ordinance to including vaping, and the other which established a tobacco retail licensing program. This program will educate retailers and enable the health department to enforce age restrictions on tobacco sales.
Healthy Food for All is working with multiple community partners, including area food banks and food pantries, to ensure the availability of fresh, healthy foods to those needing emergency food assistance.
Sexual Violence Prevention efforts supported the development and implementation of a new SafeBar Alliance curriculum, as well as working with the City of Lawrence and other partners to work on ways to ensure affordable housing policy prohibits discriminatory practices.
The Healthy Built Environment Work Group, through the coalition’s Pathways grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, supported the development of on-bike safety education at Baldwin Junior High and funded the purchase of fleet of bicycles used for the program.
WorkWell joined Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas hosting a Business & Wellness Symposium, highlighting efforts to encourage and support area employers who wish to participate in the “Kids Are Good for Business” Survey. This survey assesses employer policies and practices and identifies areas to create more family-friendly work conditions. In today’s competitive recruitment/hiring environment, family-friendly practices can make a difference in employer’s success attracting and retaining quality staff.
The coalition also awarded its 2022 Culture of Health Action Awards, given to coalition members and/or community partners whose efforts were instrumental in supporting community progress in the health and wellness of residents of Douglas County. More about the award winners.
The Douglas County Community Foundation, a key partner and supporter of the coalition, also revealed their most recent LiveWell Community Wellness Award grant recipients. Information on this year’s grant is available here.
The LiveWell Douglas County coalition awarded Culture of Health Action Awards to both coalition members and community partners whose efforts have helped improve the health and well-being of Douglas County residents. The following individuals were recognized:
The American Heart Association (AHA) and the Lawrence City Commission were both recognized for their role in the development and implementation of new ordinances to prevent tobacco use. The AHA worked with LiveWell coalition members to provide support to city staff as they developed draft ordinances. These ordinances were unanimously approved by the City Commission earlier this month. Kari Rinker of AHA was on hand to accept the award.
Mary-Jane Hoffer of the Lecompton Church was honored for her efforts to ensure emergency food assistance is available to residents of Lecompton.
Eudora Schools Foundation has been engaged in a number of efforts to promote health among school-aged youth in Eudora. Shanda Hurla and Lauri Kuntz were at the celebration to accept the Culture of Health award on behalf of the foundation for their efforts to create the “Bird’s Nest,” a school-based pantry that provides snacks and take-home foods.
LiveWell’s Sexual Violence Prevention Work Group recognized Katie Barnett. Katie has been integrally involved in mobilizing the work of the Work Group and advancing equitable housing policies.
WorkWell recognized Linda Koester-Vogelsang, Administrator of the District Court for Douglas County. For many years Linda has implemented a variety of different wellness initiatives for both employees and visitors to the courthouse. She is a long-time member of the WorkWell work group and has been a mentor to many who have implemented work wellness initiatives in our community.
Healthy Built Environment honored several long-time leaders of the Work Group. Dot Nary, Chris Tilden, and Gary Webber have all been actively involved in the “HBE” Work Group almost from its inception, have served in work group leadership roles (including work group chair) and have been engaged in countless efforts in Lawrence and Douglas County to build a stronger network for walking and biking both as a form of recreation and transportation.