CITY OF COLORADO SPRINGS RECEIVES $99,999 WALK AND WHEEL GRANT FROM KAISER PERMANENTE
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The City of Colorado Springs now has an opportunity to design safer, healthier and more accessible ways for members of the community to travel around town by bike or on foot. Kaiser Permanente Colorado recently awarded the city a $99,999 grant as part of the nonprofit health plan’s Walk and Wheel grant program. The program was designed to engage Colorado communities in the creation of safe environments that foster access to a variety of healthy ways to commute.
This grant will be used by the city’s Parks Department and Transit Division, with approximately $40,000 dollars going towards the Transit Division’s programs and the remaining $60,000 dollars will be used for Parks Department initiatives. Together, these funds will help Colorado Springs greatly expand our efforts to support walking and biking across our region. Specifically, this joint Colorado Springs Walk and Wheel grant will be used to:
- Create six new community-wide cycling events
- Expand the number of locations for Bike to Work Day
- In Partnership with Kids On Bikes, build two first-of-their-kind “Bicycle Library Workshops” at our community centers
- Add a number of bike racks to popular parks
- Expand the department’s Bicycle Counter program
- Fund a Colorado College Public Interest Fellowship Program Fellow to support the department
- Fund staff to support the Transit Division’s Bike to Work Day initiative
“We are very grateful for the generosity of Kaiser Permanente and are excited for the possibilities this grant holds for our City. With an ongoing Regional Bicycle Master Plan, new trails and on-street bicycle improvements planned for the next several years, the timing of this grant could not be any better,”Jill Gaebler, Colorado Springs city council member.
“The way we design our cities can have a huge impact on the health of our communities. By improving access to trails and paths through the Walk and Wheel program, we are taking a step in the right direction for making the healthy choice the easy choice,” said Holly Kortum, PharmD, Kaiser Permanente’s executive director in Southern Colorado.
Kaiser Permanente awarded $865,000 in Walk and Wheel grants to nine communities in Colorado. Through funding, technical assistance, evaluation guidance, and community engagement resources, Kaiser Permanente aims to partner with local governments to promote healthy living and encourage citizens to lead active lifestyles.
Kaiser Permanente is more than a health insurance provider, offering local care to its more than 56,000 Southern Colorado members at two medical offices in the area, including Colorado Springs and Pueblo. Kaiser Permanente also recently announced significant expansion plans for Southern Colorado, including offering more affordable health insurance plans, opening its Briargate Medical Offices to all ages and pursuing plans to open new medical offices.
For more information on Kaiser Permanente’s community benefit work, please visit: kp.org/communitybenefit
City of Colorado Springs
About Kaiser Permanente Colorado
Kaiser Permanente Colorado is the state’s largest nonprofit health plan, proudly working to improve the lives and health of Colorado residents for 45 years. Kaiser Permanente Colorado provides comprehensive health care services to more than 565,000 members through 28 medical offices and a network of affiliated hospitals and physicians. Kaiser Permanente was recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as the top- ranked commercial health plan in Colorado and the fourth ranked Medicare plan in the nation.Kaiser Permanente was also recently recognized as a 2012 Hypertension Champion by Million Hearts™. In 2013, Kaiser Permanente proudly directed more than $96 million to community benefit programs to improve the health of all Coloradans. For more Kaiser Permanente news, visit kp.org/share or follow us on Twitter @kpcoloradoor facebook.com/kpcolorado.