June 17, 2016
FitPHX – Phoenix’s healthy community initiative – is the recipient of the Alliance for Innovation’s Outstanding Achievement in Local Government Innovation Award. Parks and Recreation Director Inger Erickson accepted the award Thursday at the Alliance’s Transforming Local Government Conference in St. Paul, Minn.
FitPHX is a citywide initiative led by Mayor Greg Stanton, Councilman Daniel Valenzuela and Olympic Gold Medalist Misty Hyman, with the goal of improving health and wellness in the region and making the Phoenix area one of the healthiest in the nation. The initiative has created innovative collaborations between government, private sector, non-profits and universities to develop programming that gives citizens tools and education to be healthier.
“This initiative is inspiring people of all ages to live healthier, safer lives,” Councilman Valenzuela said. “Together with city staff, the public and private sectors, we have worked hard to develop a number of FitPHX programs that activate our neighborhood parks and city preserves and further Phoenix’s goal of creating a safe, connected, walkable and healthy community for kids and families throughout our city.”
In 2015, FitPHX provided services to nearly 14,000 participants and raised $350,000 to support its programming. One example is the Meet Me Downtown Phoenix 5K walk/run, held Mondays year-round. The event attracts an average of 175 people per week, and also helps boost downtown business as participants travel a route that begins at CityScape and wraps its way through and past numerous downtown parks, landmarks and restaurants. The event is funded by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, and operated jointly by city staff, non-profit Downtown Phoenix, Inc., and local businesses.
Innovation Award recipients were chosen from more than 30 applications received by a multi-member selection committee consisting of city and county managers from across the nation and Alliance for Innovation staff. The committee looks for governments that have shown dedication to stretching and improving the boundaries of day-to-day operations and practices, implementing creative business processes and improving the civic health of the community.