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ASHLAND, Ky. –The Kentucky Heart Foundation recently received a $40,000 Action Communities for Health, Innovation, and Environmental change, or ACHIEVE, grant from the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors.
 
The grant supports the efforts of the Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities Coalition, which is made up of more than 75 individuals representing 27 organizations from Boyd and Greenup counties. In addition, the local effort will work with Covington, Ky., to begin development of the ACHIEVE initiative in their community.

 
The grant was one of only 15 awarded nationally. The goal of ACHIEVE is to help communities prevent chronic disease and improve the health of the community through policy, systems and environmental change strategies.

 
“We are excited about this extended opportunity to further our work under ACHIEVE,” said Laura Patrick, ACHIEVE coordinator with the Kentucky Heart Foundation. “We have seen tremendous support from the community to adopt policies that help improve physical activity,” she said, adding, “This additional grant allows us to expand our work in other areas like nutrition and tobacco. In addition, we will be taking the experience we have gained locally to help Covington improve the health of their community.”

 
The ACHIEVE initiative began in 2009 and has been working with elementary schools to adopt policies to ensure all students are physically active during recess. Eleven schools in the two counties have adopted strong policies that encourage kids to be active and prevent recess from being taken away due to a student’s poor behavior or for academic remediation.

 
The ACHIEVE initiative, in partnership with the city of Ashland, was instrumental in the successful application for a Safe Routes to School grant. Through that grant the city will add sidewalks on Division and Ferguson streets in Ashland so students attending Charles Russell and Oakview elementary schools have safe paths to walk or bike to school.

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