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Healthy St. Pete Recognized with Spotlight Award As Part of Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge

[St. Petersburg, FL - January 31, 2018] — Healthy St. Pete has been selected to receive an additional $10,000 as part of the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge (the Challenge) Spotlight Award. Ten winners and five honorable mentions were chosen for the Spotlight for their ability to address the need to improve opportunities for all Americans – regardless of income, education or ethnic background – to take an active role in healthy living.

The award is part of the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge, an initiative launched in 2016 by the Aetna Foundation, along with the American Public Health Association (APHA) and the National Association of Counties (NACo), empowering 50 small-to-midsize cities and counties to implement innovative solutions for their local public health issues. The 15 cities and counties are tackling community-specific health disparities head-on and developing practical, evidence-based strategies to improve health conditions and promote heathy living.

Healthy St. Pete was recognized as an honorable mention for identifying creative partnerships and enacting sustainable and replicable programs that address the unique health issues facing St. Petersburg.

Healthy St. Pete is a citywide community initiative aimed at helping residents Eat, Live, Shop, and Play Healthy. The initiative is working with community partners to increase access to fresh produce, provide nutrition education classes, and opportunities for the community to engage in low-cost physical fitness.

Healthy St. Pete is partnering with the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter, University of Florida IFAS Extension, John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, Gulfport Produce, Baycare, and Florida Hospital to offer our first Food is Medicine (FIM) in St. Petersburg. The overarching goal of the Food is Medicine program is to improve the health of people living in food deserts, or low-income/low food access areas of the city. This comprehensive program offers resident’s access to low-cost produce, increases educational opportunities, works to eliminates barriers to health, and meets the community where they are, in their neighborhood. 

The Healthy Cities & Communities Challenge is a $1.5 million prize competition focused on small and mid-sized U.S. cities, counties and federally-recognized tribes that plan to address social determinants of health such as access to improving access to healthy foods, increasing physical activity, and reducing violence and crime. The 50 participants were chosen based on strategies to improve the health of their communities in at least one of five domains: healthy behaviors, community safety, built environment, social/economic factors and environmental exposures.

“At the Aetna Foundation, we know that a positive health impact can be made when communities work together to tackle social determinants of health,” said Dr. Garth Graham, president of the Aetna Foundation. “We are honored to showcase these innovative organization as honorable mentions in the Spotlight Award for their commitment to improving local health conditions and creating healthier, safer places.”

For more information on the Spotlight Award, the honorable mentions and the Challenge, visit For information on Healthy St. Pete, visit



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