Area Cities, School District Create ‘Healthy Highline Communities Coalition’
The cities of Burien, SeaTac, Des Moines, Normandy Park and the Highline School District have teamed up to “improve the health of our communities,” with the creation of the Healthy Highline Communities Coalition (HHCC).
According to a statement, the coalition began as an informal discussion group made up of elected officials wanting to work together to improve their communities and grew into a coalition that recently received one of the highly competitive Communities Putting Prevention to Work grants from the Centers for Disease Control as part of the Healthy Eating Active Living initiative (HEAL).
The Communities Putting Prevention to Work grant program is focused on preventing chronic diseases such as, heart disease and diabetes and improving health outcomes by focusing efforts on environments that support health through policy, systems, and environmental level change that will have a long-term positive effect for our communities.
Recent accomplishments of the HHCC include:
- With HEAL funds, the City of Burien has hired a full-time management analyst to support the City’s involvement in the Coalition and to oversee its implementation of the HEAL grant scope of work. It has also created a new senior planner position, funded in part through the HEAL grant, who will be coordinating the City’s various planning efforts related to the grant.
- With HEAL funds, the cities of SeaTac and Des Moines are in the process of hiring project managers.
- The cities of Burien and Normandy Park have established an Inter-local Agreement to facilitate Normandy Park’s involvement as a sub-grantee in the HEAL grant project. This Inter-local has been approved by the Normandy Park City Council and by the City of Burien’s administration.
- The City of SeaTac is in the process of establishing Technical Assistance Teams that includes Planning, Public Works, Parks and Recreation, Economic Development, Human Services and the Assistant City Manager.
- The City of Des Moines is in the process of establishing Technical Assistance Teams that includes Planning, Building and Public Works, Parks, Recreation and Senior Services, and the Assistant City Manager.?
- The Highline School District has established five different task forces for improving health including Safe Routes to School.
- An inter-local agreement has been drafted that allows the cities and school district to collaborate on projects together.
- The City of Des Moines has started recruitment of volunteers for community gardens.
The launch of the Healthy Highline Communities Coalition website at www.healthyhighline.org. It’s a great resource for the community about the project.
The Coalition’s next meeting is Tuesday, Dec. 7, from 5pm -6:30pm, at Burien City Hall (400 SW 152nd St.). Anyone interested may attend and all are welcome.