The city of Allentown Health Bureau and its “Million Clicks for a Million Heart Campaign” is one of 50 members of the HealthyCommunity50 in the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge to receive a $10,000 community seed award.
The American Public Health Association, the National Association of Counties and the Aetna Foundation, sponsors of the Challenge, announced the finalists and seed award winners today.
By participating in the Challenge, Allentown is in the running to receive a prize of as much as $500,000 that will support the campaign!
Started in April as part of the CDC’s “Million Hearts Initiative,” walkers can sign-up for the campaign by obtaining a form from the Health Bureau or registering on the city’s website to receive a free key-tab. They then “click-in” at stations in Trexler and Andre Reed parks, in Lehigh Parkway, on the LifeTrail in Cedar Creek Parkway and at Ninth & Hamilton streets. Each time a walker “clicks-in,” their name is entered to win a monthly prize.
The “Million Hearts Initiative” aims to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. Many of the people at high risk for heart attack or stroke don’t know it. Many of the major risks for these conditions can be prevented and controlled through healthy lifestyle changes, including walking.
Walking improves cardiac risk factors such as cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.
The Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge was launched in April during National Public Health Week. The Challenge will award $1.5 million in prizes to small and mid-sized cities, counties and federally-recognized tribes that are able to show measurable change over the course of several years working with cross-sector partnerships to implement health innovations and data-driven solutions. Hundreds of city governments, local municipalities, health departments, educational institutions and other public/private entities applied to be a part of the Challenge.
The HealthyCommunity50 were chosen based on plans to improve the health of their communities in at least one of five domains: Healthy behaviors, community safety, built environment, social/economic factors and environmental exposures.
“We are extremely proud to be recognized by the Challenge, said Allentown Health Bureau Director Vicky Kistler. “The health bureau is committed to furthering the goals of the CDC’s Million Hearts initiative. Allentown is blessed with beautiful parks and a new cityscape. This is the perfect city for a program like Million Clicks for Million Hearts. At the same time we’re very interested in learning from the other Challenge communities involved, as well as share our own key learnings with others.”
“At the Aetna Foundation, we’re seeking to reward innovation for communities implementing new ways to improve health outcomes,” said Dr. Garth Graham, president of the Aetna Foundation. “We want the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge to serve as a catalyst for collaboration in local communities around the country working to move the needle in combating health disparities.”
Participants in Allentown’s “Million Clicks for a Million Hearts Campaign“ can register by calling Ronya Nassar at the Allentown Health Bureau at 610-437-7581, or on the city website at www.allentownpa.gov/millionhearts. Questions can be addressed to Ronya.Nassar@allentownpa.gov.
All selected HealthyCommunity50 members will be visited by an expert judge panel to answer questions, understand the community’s approach to the project first-hand and speak with the members of the cross-sector team and key stakeholders. At the conclusion of the Challenge, the programs most able to show measurable change will be eligible for prize awards from $25,000 - $500,000. Participants will be judged on their own progress and will not be competing against each other.
For more information, visit www.healthiestcities.org.