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Public Health Problem


·   Regular physical activity has many health benefits but many Americans don’t reach recommended levels.

·  The Health & Wellness Coalition of Wichita commissioned a survey showing that less than half of area residents felt their neighborhoods were designed to encourage outdoor activities. Many also said that outdoor activity in parks and open spaces was a problem and that overall condition of parks and the condition of paths and walkways made outdoor activity difficult.



·   The Action Communities for Health, Innovation and Environmental Change initiative, or ACHIEVE, applies a community model using health departments & YMCAs as trusted conveners and community ‘coaches.’ The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors and YMCA of the USA provide ACHIEVE grants and technical assistance, using funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to enhance local communities’ abilities to develop and implement policy, systems, and environmental change strategies that will help prevent or manage health-risk factors for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, obesity, and arthritis.

·   ACHIEVE funding instigated policy action in Wichita by providing training to an existing coalition’s leadership team at an ACHIEVE Action Institute and by facilitating development of an action plan based on successful examples of policy changes that impacts health.

·   ACHIEVE educated public works staff, city engineers, and policy leaders about the importance of complete streets, a transportation planning concept unfamiliar to them that integrates all modes of transportation and types of users into a single plan.



·   The Wichita City Council endorsed all 12 streetscape improvement concepts recommended in a Streetscape Improvement Plan for East Douglas Avenue.

·   Two paths now connect downtown and northeast Wichita. 

·   Two main downtown feeder streets that connect to eastside neighborhoods, an elementary school, high school, grocery store, and churches were re-striped with bike lanes.

·   Over 130 new bike racks are installed all over Wichita, including several connecting neighborhoods that have high-density employment.

·   The transportation department now has bike racks on buses used by over 1,000 people in just one month last year.

·   Wichita is now developing a bicycle master plan and forming a bike/pedestrian advisory group.

·   The Wichita Metropolitan Planning Organization is now emphasizing infrastructure to support multi-modal transportation.


Mim McKenzie                                                

YMCA - Wichita                                               

316-264-4066, ext. 258                             


Suzanne Ahlstrand

Wichita Chamber of Commerce