City of Kingsport's Designation as First and Only City to be Recognized Using New CriteriaMarch 28, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Johanna Montgomery
City of Kingsport Designated Certified Healthier Tennessee Community—Bronze Status
Kingsport, Tennessee - Healthier Tennessee, an initiative born out of the Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness, and Governor Bill Haslam recognized 14 communities yesterday at a press conference that took place at the state capitol building in Nashville. The recognition was given to communities—Memphis to Kingsport—that have contributed to the critically important health and wellness work that is necessary to reduce the chronic, preventable disease states that impact both quality of life and economic factors for our state.
The City of Kingsport, which was one of the initial nine communities designated as a Certified Healthier Tennessee Community in 2016, was again recognized as the first and only community to be celebrated under the new designation criteria established by Healthier Tennessee earlier this year. Kingsport’s designation as a Certified Healthier Tennessee Community – Bronze status sets our city apart from all others in Tennessee as we are the only city to be recognized in this manner. No cities achieved silver or gold status due to the fact the criteria was just made available in January 2018; therefore, limiting the ability of communities to have evidence-based results in relation to the new criteria.
"Healthy Kingsport understands that the health of our local communities affects us in so many ways—from feeling well enough to put in a productive day’s work to how able our kids are to learn, from the cost of medical care to how well and how long we live. The achievement of a bronze-level designation as a Healthier Tennessee Community for 2018 clearly shows that this citizen-led effort is making a positive difference in the Kingsport area," said Rick Johnson, president and chief executive officer, Healthier Tennessee.
Healthy Kingsport leads the City of Kingsport’s health and wellness efforts and has consistently been named as the most influential community-led, grass-roots population health organization in our state by those in our region as well as organizations, such as BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and Cigna, working throughout Tennessee and Mid-South area. The organization’s successful execution of its strategic plan around promoting wellness (nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco prevention and cessation), enhancing local infrastructure, and influencing policies at the state, local, and organizational levels has established Healthy Kingsport as the leader amongst its peers in the state and prompted the Healthier Tennessee designation.
Kingsport Mayor John Clark noted, "I am impressed with the work of Healthy Kingsport and proud of the recent recognition by Healthier Tennessee. Kingsport has yet another ‘first’ that serves as a differentiator for our city." Jeff Fleming, city manager for City of Kingsport, added "It is an honor to be part of the Healthy Kingsport collaborative in order to improve the health and wellbeing of our family members, friends, and neighbors. This designation is yet another milestone in our progress toward improving our health outcomes."
"Having the unwavering support of the City of Kingsport in our Healthy Kingsport collaborative has been the linchpin in our ability to recruit others to join our health and wellness movement. Healthy Kingsport is now serving as the incubator of health and wellness strategies for communities in our region and across our state," said Kandy Childress, executive director of Healthy Kingsport. "We look forward to continuing in this role to help improve the quality of life for those living in our community as well as to support businesses in reducing healthcare costs. Businesses in Tennessee spend $5.3 billion on direct healthcare costs related to chronic, preventable disease—more than our state spends ($4.7 billion) to educate all Tennessee students (K -12)."
Healthy Kingsport advances our mission of promoting wellness, enhancing infrastructure, and influencing policy and seek to create a healthy community by serving low-risk and at-risk populations in the Greater Kingsport area. We utilize a targeted set of health improvement strategies that are scalable and replicable and emphasize our competitive advantages of well-established community trust, earned reputation for strategy execution, and evidence-based interventions, focusing on organizational and individual empowerment and efficacy. We are sustainable by a diversified funding model built on public and private sponsorship dollars as well as selective grant monies. More information may be found at healthykingsport.org
For more information on the City of Kingsport’s designation as a Certified Healthier Tennessee Community – Bronze status and Healthy Kingsport, visit Healthy Kingsport’s website (www.healthykingsport.org) or our social media platforms.