Tulsa recognized as an Innovator City in health challenge

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TULSA - Tulsa County was recently recognized as an Innovator City in the Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge.

The Challenge is an opportunity for local governments to build cross-sector partnerships that lead to health innovations and data-driven solutions.

Tulsa joins several other cities and counties that have already selected to participate in the Challenge as early adopters. Their proposals offer ways to provide access to fruits and vegetables, reduce tobacco use and exposure, combat crime and violence, and increase leadership and civic engagement. These Innovator Cities include:

San Diego County, California Lead Entity: County of San Diego Health and Human Service Agency

Kansas City, Missouri Lead Entity: City of Kansas City Health Department

New Haven, Connecticut Lead Entity: City of New Haven Health Department

Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio Lead Entity: Cleveland Department of Health

Durham and Cabarrus, North Carolina Lead Entity: Duke University

On Monday, the Aetna Foundation, the American Public Health Association (APHA) and the National Association of Counties (NACo), in partnership with CEOs for Cities, announced the launch of the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge, which will award $1.5 million in prizes to cities, counties and federally recognized tribes that show measurable improvements in health indicators and social determinants of health.

"We are pleased to have been recognized as an early adopter in this challenge. This recognition is a testament to the collaborative efforts ongoing across Tulsa County to make this a healthier place to live, work and play," said Dr. Bruce Dart, executive director at the Tulsa Health Department.

Participating cities, counties and tribes will focus on at least one of five domains: Healthy behaviors, community safety, built environment, social/economic factors and environmental exposures. Within those domains, participants will be judged based on a variety of metrics already in use within the public health field. Challenge participants will also be evaluated on their ability to form cross-sector partnerships a key ingredient and a critical foundation for sustainable and lasting change. An expert advisory board has been selected to judge the finalists of the Challenge including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), AARP and the Urban Land Institute.

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