$25,000 healthy living prize for Manistique

From the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation:

Manistique is one of six inaugural winners of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Roadmaps to Health Prize. The prize honors outstanding community partnerships across the United States which are helping residents live healthier lives. Manistique has received a cash prize of $25,000 in recognition of its efforts and was honored on Wednesday at an event held at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in Princeton, New Jersey. A local community celebration is being planned for May 15th in conjunction with opening day of the Manistique Farmers’ Market.

The City of Manistique is being recognized for its innovative strategies to improve health, including: partnering with the Sault Tribe Strategic Alliance for Health (SAH) Project, developing the Manistique Farmers’ Market, working to create easier access for non-motorized modes of transportation, and partnering with Manistique Area Schools to create access to healthy choices throughout the school day.

“The City of Manistique is extremely appreciative to the SAH Coalition headed up by Kerry Ott along with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for their combined efforts and support in making Manistique a destination and a better place to live for our residents”, said Manistique City Manager Sheila Aldrich.

“The projects such as the Farmer’s Market, the Safe Routes to School Sidewalk Program, along with the proposed Non-motorized Pathway Project have and will put Manistique on the map,” she said. “These projects place Manistique in the forefront of promoting physical activity and let our citizens and residents know how important they are to us.

“We so appreciate that the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recognizes the importance of what we are accomplishing, and that they are honoring us with this award. We especially appreciate the support shown by our residents and invite tourists and retirees to visit us and become a part of Manistique’s progressive future.”

“These prize winners represent leadership at its finest—trailblazers creating a culture of health,” said Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, RWJF president and CEO. “Today we honor leaders from government, business, public health, health care, and education who stand shoulder-to-shoulder working toward better health. The RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize shines a light on their accomplishments; we hope it will inspire others to take bold steps to improve health in their communities.”

Manistique was one of six communities selected for the award from more than 160 applications. The other winning communities are Santa Cruz County, California; New Orleans, Louisiana; Cambridge, Massachusetts; Fall River, Massachusetts; and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Learn more about the RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize and watch a video profile of Manistique and the other prize winners at www.rwjf.org. The Manistique video may also be viewed at CityofManistique.org, ManistiqueFarmersMarket.com, and SchoolcraftCountyChamber.org

“The City of Manistique has many assets, but our greatest asset of all is the people,” commented Kerry Ott, Manistique Coordinator for the SAH Project, “What has brought us to this recognition is the desire of individuals and agencies and businesses in our community to not settle for what we have, but to work together toward a healthier community and a strong, vibrant economy. We have more work to do, and the Roadmaps to Health Prize will help us build upon the successes we have already had.”

The RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize is part of the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program. In 2009, RWJF partnered with the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute to create the County Health Rankings. The Rankings serve as an easy-to-use health snapshot of the many factors that influence health, and help community leaders identify areas where improvement is needed. The County Health Roadmaps project supports communities working together to make progress on those factors. Find out more at CountyHealthRankings.org.