New award to recognize champions behind laws, policies to improve Kentucky’s health

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Do you know someone who is a tireless advocate for health policy changes in your community or in Kentucky?

A new award announced by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky will recognize individuals and organizations from every corner of the Commonwealth working to enact local or state policies or laws that improve health. The Foundation will present up to two Healthy Kentucky Policy Champion awards each month, beginning immediately. All recipients are eligible for the Healthy Kentucky Policy Champion of the Year award, which comes with a $5,000 grant from the Foundation to a Kentucky-based nonprofit of the winner’s choice.

The Healthy Kentucky Policy Champion of the Year award will be announced at the Foundation’s Howard L. Bost Memorial Health Policy Forum in the fall each year. Recipients throughout the year receive a framed certificate, and are publicly recognized by a Foundation official in their home communities, as well as at the Bost Forum.

“This award is about recognizing the hard work and persistence it takes to enact health-related policies and laws,” said Charlie Ross, chairman of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and retired public health director in the Purchase region. “Kentucky has a lot of health issues, but we can make clear progress across entire communities and population groups with evidence-based policy changes, such as smoke-free laws that reduce exposure to secondhand smoke, complete-streets policies that allow roadways to be used by walkers and cyclers, and school programs that boost nutrition and physical activity.”

“Business policies, local ordinances and state laws can make widespread and long-lasting improvements in the health of our people,” said Ben Chandler, the Foundation’s president and CEO. “The right health policy changes help residents get preventive screenings and essential medical care, including mental health services. They ensure access to healthy foods, clean air, exercise opportunities and health education. They make healthier options better understood, available to people at all income levels, and easier to choose. In short, they lead to reduced illness, better quality of life and a more productive workforce.”

Nominees for the Healthy Kentucky Policy Champion award should have advanced policy (a private corporate policy, a local ordinance, or a statewide law) that will improve community or statewide health in Kentucky. The policy should focus on one or more specific health issues – such as a health behavior or disease, access to health care, health equity or public health, or adding a health perspective to policy.

Eligible nominees must represent a nonprofit, for-profit, educational or government entity that resides or does work in Kentucky. Political causes, organizations working for religious purposes, and organizations that discriminate are not eligible for this award.

Nominations are accepted at any time during the year, and can be entered on the Foundation’s website. Two letters of endorsement are required. All nominations are reviewed and winners are chosen by a team of Foundation staff and selected members of the Foundation’s Community Advisory Committee. Up to two honorees may be selected monthly. See complete award qualifications and nomination requirements.

From Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky

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