The Y Supports Surgeon General’s Call to Action by Exploring Statewide Strategies that Promote Walking and Walkable Communities

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 9, 2015) – In support of the U.S. Surgeon General’s Call to Action on Walking and Walkable Communities, YMCA of the USA (Y-USA), the national resource office for the nation’s 2,700 YMCAs, announced it will receive a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to assess state policies and advance strategies that support walkable communities. 

Y-USA will work with the network of 50 YMCA state alliances to convene state leaders to advance efforts to implement programs and strategies that support the health and well-being of individuals in states and communities, with a specific focus on walking and walkable communities.

“This project is an extension of the Y’s decade-long commitment to working with state and local leaders to transform community environments and provide opportunities for healthy living,” said YMCA of the USA President and CEO Kevin Washington. “Recent changes in transportation policy at the federal level have moved decisions about transportation enhancements and initiatives that help make our communities walkable and bikeable to state governments.  By educating state leaders about strategies they can initiate to improve health outcomes and spur economic growth, we can ensure that individuals and families across the nation have the opportunity to make healthy choices in the places where they live, work, learn and play.”

To support the advancement of statewide policy initiatives, Y-USA will work in conjunction with the Safe Routes to School National Partnership to update and enhance a series of reports assessing state policies and financial investments supporting walkable communities. Next year, YMCA state alliances will convene state and local leaders from government agencies, nonprofit organizations, health care providers and the business community to develop statewide strategies that encourage walking and walkable communities. The report will inform these strategies.

“The Y has a long and proven track record of fostering healthier communities,” said Janet Collins, PhD, director of CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity. “This effort will continue that work and support the Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities. Ensuring that state actions are taken to make walking an easier choice will improve health and quality of life in communities across the nation.”

The Y is the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to improving the nation’s health. In addition to its traditional health and well-being programming, in 247 communities and 20 states across the nation, Ys are working in collaboration with local leaders on intentional efforts to ensure that healthy living is within reach for all. To date, these communities have influenced more than 39,000 community-level changes that have positively affected up to 73 million people across the nation.  State-level efforts in 14 states influenced 2,844 of these strategies, many of which focused on expanding opportunities for physical activity in neighborhoods, schools and worksites. 


About the Y The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 22 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change.

Media Contact

Kelly Kennai YMCA of the USA 1-800-932-9622

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

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