At BikeWalkKC, we see a community that is barrier free, has complete biking and walking access, and has a connected culture of active transportation and active lifestyles, and we seek partners with the same vision. Children’s Mercy Kansas City (CMKC) has been that kind of partner since 2014.
Founded in 1897, Children’s Mercy is one of the nation’s top pediatric medical centers. Its faculty of more than 700 pediatric subspecialists and researchers across more than 40 subspecialties are actively involved in clinical care, pediatric research, and educating the next generation of pediatric subspecialists.
Through BikeWalkKC’s educational programming, CMKC saw an opportunity to invest in children’s health in Kansas City: our Earn-a-Bike and BLAST courses teach kids the value of bicycling as a life-long skill, with opportunities for fitness, recreation, and transportation. BikeWalkKC works with several departments within CMKC, including the Center for Childhood Safety, Weighing-In, and the Center for Children’s Healthy Lifestyles & Nutrition. BikeWalkKC offers BLAST trainings and teaching opportunities to CMKC staff, medical students and residents. CMKC owns their own bicycle fleet utilized by BikeWalkKC during the school year and provides hundreds of helmets for our students every year!
Last year, the Aetna Foundation selected BikeWalkKC as one of 25 non-profit organizations as part of their Healthy Communities Initiative, a project designed to address critical factors that impact social determinants of health. As our evaluation partner, CMKC is helping us target the Historic Northeast neighborhoods of Kansas City, Missouri for programming in four elementary schools. Children’s Mercy is also helping us engage residents to advocate for safer and more comfortable walking and biking facilities in Northeast KCMO.
Using tools like surveys and questionnaires, as well as accelerometers and wearable GPS, Children’s Mercy is assisting us in measuring the long-term effects of our efforts on the health of the community. This project is expected to run through Spring of 2019, after which we will publish the final report.
We are proud to partner with such an outstanding community organization, and we are grateful for their support. Together, we are cultivating healthier communities and promoting active living here in Kansas City.
Learn more about our partnership with Children’s Mercy on our Education page, and visit the blog and our Aetna Project page to read the details of the Cultivating Healthy Communities initiative.