Partnership Profile: LiveWell Johnson County

We are excited to highlight another great partner this week! LiveWell Johnson County is an initiative of the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment and made possible through grant support from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the CDC.  The purpose of the program is to improve resident health through partnerships and environmental designs that make the healthy choice the easy choice.  The ultimate goal is to encourage local communities to approach chronic diseases prevention from two directions:
  • first, to reshape systems and environments so that healthy choices are easy choices for individuals, and
  • second, to support health systems work in preventing chronic disease, rather than just treating it.

With LiveWell JoCo support, we created a guide to help businesses make it easier for their employees to choose active transportation.

Built environment impacts to health are complex and wide ranging.  For this grant, BikeWalkKC worked with community partners to identify where in Johnson County the greatest need for active transportation overlaps with the strongest community support.  We examined demographic factors, health factors, infrastructure and land use constraints, and engaged community stakeholders to identify several target areas throughout the County.

We then deployed a variety of education, outreach, events, and technical assistance focused on supporting active transportation and improved health outcomes.  Examples of the technical assistance  include a Bike/Walk Friendly Business Guide that helps employers make it easier for their employees to choose walking and biking as a commuting option.  We prepared a Road Diet Guide for the City of Mission that explored the tradeoffs of reconfiguring travel lanes on Johnson Drive, and compiled research from across the country.  We assisted the City of Roeland Park with a Pedestrian and Bicycle Infrastructure Strategy that provided a framework to prioritize infrastructure investments.  Currently, we are working with the City of Overland Park on plan to provide bike parking throughout Downtown Overland Park in coordination with other public art and wayfinding efforts.

Riding with confidence at the JoCo Central Resource Library
Photo courtesy of Johnson County Library

Through LiveWell Johnson County, our education team has targeted adults in a series of classes and activities designed to increase bicycle ridership and improve health outcomes throughout the county. We have partnered with the Johnson County Library and MakerSpace for Confident City Cycling classes and Maintain Your Ride sessions, as well as the City of Mission to provide Confident City Cycling, bicycle maintenance, and engagement activities. With their support, we have reached over 75 Johnson County adults through these classes and outreach activities– many of whom also received bicycles as a result.

 

We are grateful for the opportunity LiveWell Johnson County has granted us to extend our reach throughout the Kansas City metro. With their help, we are supporting healthy living and connected communities from Overland Park to Roeland Park, and from Leawood to Lenexa!

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