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The City of Danville is among 22 U.S. cities named today by the National Civic League as a finalist for the 2020 All-America City Award.
The National Civic League each year recognizes communities that demonstrate innovative, inclusive and effective efforts to tackle critical challenges. This year’s finalists focused specifically on creating a healthy community for all, particularly populations experiencing poorer health outcomes.
“Being named a finalist is an honor,” Mayor Alonzo Jones said. “We know how hard we have worked to ‘reimagine’ our city not only economically but in all areas, including the health and well-being of everyone in our city. This award process is allowing us to demonstrate the merits of our work to the nation.”
City Manager Ken Larking agreed, saying, “I am often proud of what our community can accomplish. Our partnerships with other organizations like the Danville Regional Foundation has enabled us to do so much more together than we could have accomplished alone.”
The 22 finalist communities will compete this June in Denver, Colo., for the award, which is given to 10 communities each year. Each community will bring a team of residents, nonprofit leaders, business representatives, government officials and young people to participate in presentations and workshops for three days.
Clark Casteel, president and CEO of Danville Regional Foundation, said, “This finalist designation is an excellent example of what can happen when our community works together. We’re cheering for this team as they advance to the next round and showcase the best of what our community has to offer.”
The City highlighted three local campaigns in its application to be an All-America City, including Fit Mobile, which is a program that offers on-site fitness and nutrition classes. The program services citizens who desire to improve their overall health but face barriers such as transportation and finances that can often limit participation.
Fit Mobile is a collaboration between Parks and Recreation, The Health Collaborative, Averett University, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Danville Redevelopment and Housing Authority, and local healthcare organizations PATHs and Gateway Health.
The Danville Youth Health Equity Leadership Institute (YHELI) was a second local campaign highlighted in the application. YHELI is a personal development program dedicated to empowering students to graduate high school on time and with an action plan for the future. YHELI partners with Danville Public Schools, the Pittsylvania-Danville Health Department and The Health Collaborative, as well as their partners.
The third campaign highlighted was the Community Health Worker initiative in which health workers provide one-on-one care coordination assistance to individuals that are at risk or potentially becoming at risk of being non-compliant with their chronic illnesses. The initiative’s primary goal is to decrease avoidable emergency department use by people who are frequent emergency department users, uninsured, low income and have no recorded affiliation with a medical home.
The other finalists this year are:
For more info on the National Civic League, visit www.nationalcivicleague.org.