(SAVANNAH, GA) the Healthy Savannah Initiative has been awarded $150,000 in grant funding, as a part of a three year program from the Healthcare Georgia Foundation to fight childhood obesity. With the YMCA of Coastal GA, Inc. serving as the fiscal agent, the funds will be used to expand and strengthen existing community-based collaborations and partnerships to reduce behavioral and environmental risk factors among under-served individuals and communities, as well as expand or develop community awareness and health promotion campaigns.
“We were successful in receiving these grant funds because of the strength of our coalition,” said Paula Kreissler, Director of Healthy Living and Community Development, Healthy Savannah and YMCA of Coastal Georgia. “It is the first grant we have received and we expect this will be the first of many to come – especially due to the City of Savannah’s support of this initiative.”
Healthy Savannah representatives met with members of the Savannah City Council for a workshop on June 26 to discuss the Initiative’s goals for building healthier communities, increasing physical activity in neighborhoods to support more children walking or biking to school, and increasing community interest in healthy children.
“The Council members were positive and proactive by identifying specific neighborhoods, schools and organizations where Healthy Savannah can begin connecting with the community,” explained Kreissler.
“Our first area of concentration will be to support the Complete Streets ordinance. This would establish streets that are designed to allow all types of users including pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists. We will also support the completion of the Truman Linear Park Trail.”
Healthy Savannah’s overall grant program goals include creating conditions in communities where prevention and reduction of childhood obesity can occur by:
• Developing local ordinances
• Policy changes
• Modifying the built environment
• Affecting social norms
• Supporting communities where making health lifestyle choices is realistic and desirable
MORE INFORMATION ON HEALTHCARE GEORGIA FOUNDATION: Healthcare Georgia Foundation’s mission is to advance the health of all Georgians and to expand access to affordable, quality healthcare for under-served individuals and communities. The Foundation was created in 1999 through the conversion of public assets resulting from the merger between BlueCross BlueShield of Georgia and WellPoint Health Networks.
MORE INFORMATION ON HEALTHY SAVANNAH: The Healthy Savannah Inc. Initiative is dedicated to making Savannah a healthier place to live. Launched in 2007 by (former) Mayor Otis Johnson, Healthy Savannah’s mission is to achieve a healthier community by creating and advocating for a variety of policies and programs to increase opportunities for citizens to engage in physical activity and consume a nutritious, balanced diet. Healthy Savannah supports programs for families, schools, businesses, and faith-based organizations. The leadership team is composed of people from all sectors of the community. Business owners, non-profit managers, government and public service staff, community organizers, and faith-based leaders all play a role in helping the vision of a healthy Savannah come to life.
For more information, contact:
Director of Healthy Living and Community Development, Healthy Savannah and YMCA of Coastal Georgia
Media inquiries, contact: