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By: Staff report, UpstatebizSC
Spartanburg County has been selected as one of 50 communities to participate in the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge: HealthyCommunity50. The Challenge, a partnership between the Aetna Foundation, the American Public Health Association and the National Association of Counties, 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. Each community will receive a $10,000 community seed award to begin implementing its proposals and will be in the running to receive additional prizes.
Spartanburg County was selected for its proposal to improve health through the Healthy Schools and Healthy Communities Initiatives. The Healthy Schools Initiative will be implemented through a partnership with the Mary Black Foundation, Partners for Active Living, and nine Spartanburg County schools. The Healthy Communities Initiative will form a new partnership between local municipalities, the SC Hospital Association, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, and other interested entities. Michael Meissner, Mayor of the Town of Pacolet, will lead an effort to engage other elected leaders to participate.
The Mary Black Foundation led Spartanburg County’s application process and has committed funding for the Healthy Schools Initiative. “Spartanburg County’s participation in the Challenge comes at an opportune time for our community,” said Molly Talbot-Metz, the Foundation’s Vice President of Programs. “Existing efforts, like Spartanburg’s Way to Wellville and the Road to Better Health, have created a culture of health where people are ready to work together to promote health for all. The Healthy Schools and Healthy Communities Initiatives will strengthen and enhance efforts to improve health countywide.”