CI has had the privilege of serving NashVitality—a multi-sector partnership advancing a healthier, greener and more equitable Nashville. With strong leadership from Mayor Karl Dean, the County Health Department, the YMCA, Vanderbilt and countless other non-profits and business organizations, NashVitality has had extraordinary success over the last few years:
• Nashville has invested more than $130 million in public infrastructure including building new sidewalks, bikeways, community centers, parks, multi-modal streets and public health facilities
• Over 15,000 citizens participated in the Mayor’s Challenge 5k since 2011
• 250 Business Awarded for Excellence in Worksite Wellness
CI has played very different roles over the course of NashVitality’s evolution. Our connection to Nashville leaders started at the beginning of the CDC funded Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW). The Davidson County Health Department engaged CI coaching services to guide the group as they determined how to best structure the Leadership Team and work groups, and to arrive at priority actions.
Creating healthy youth zones was one of the NashVitality focus areas for CPPW. CI helped nine of the primary youth serving organizations, including United Ways, YMCAs and Parks & Recreation, to develop a learning collaborative. Over the course of eight months, staff teams from these organizations came together to learn about and implement organizational practices and policies to boost healthy behaviors. They made changes—reducing screen time, increasing active play and sourcing healthier foods—by testing and scaling small changes and sharing ideas with their peers.
Additionally, NashVitality organizers invited the CI team to help co-create and facilitate portions of large group meetings and the annual summit aimed at aligning interests, celebrating successes and building public awareness and will.
CI is careful to ensure it is building capacity and not dependence on outside support. Training health department staff and local coalition leaders in facilitative leadership, action planning, and partnership development skills has helped build capacity. As initial funding was coming to a close, CI has helped NashVitality leaders shape options for sustaining NashVitality beyond CPPW funding.
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