Download the 2016 Bingham Fellows Class Report

The 36 community leaders in the 2016 Bingham Fellows class began their work in January 2016, bringing their expertise and passion to help Louisville raise its health rankings, and ultimately increase the length and quality of life for all citizens.  This is a significant challenge because Louisville is regularly rated as one of the unhealthiest cities in the United States by many metrics used to measure wellness, and improving the health of citizens is a complex but critical issue. A healthy city has lower healthcare costs, more successful students, is attractive for economic growth, has a more productive workforce, and a better quality of place.

To take on this challenge, the class leveraged their collective expertise and the knowledge they gained through the Bingham Fellows program. They engaged local and national private companies, nonprofit organizations and public agencies to develop a deep understanding of how they might impact positive change.

The five innovative projects they will launch begin one neighborhood at a time, and touch all factors that impact health, including social and economic factors, health behaviors, clinical care and physical environment. Learn more about factors that influence a person’s health outcomes.

The five projects of the 2016 Bingham Fellows 


Icons below indicate which health factors (Physical Environment – gold; Clinical Care – green; Health Behaviors – blue; Social and Economic Factors – red) are impacted by each project.

A New Model for Healthcare Delivery

The life expectancy of a child born in Smoketown is 10 years below that of children born in many other Louisville neighborhoods. The Smoketown Family Wellness Center (SFWC) has a goal to increase life expectancy and improve the quality of life with an innovative approach to healthcare that combines medical care for kids with healthy lifestyle support for the whole family in a community-based setting.

SFWC will build a culture of health by providing:

  • Comprehensive, evidence-based pediatric care.
  • Family coaching to assess the strengths and needs of each family, including assessment of food security, housing, and exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences.
  • Programming driven by families and the community advisory team to serve the needs of families served in partnership with existing local resources.
  • A community to support parents to raise children who are healthy in mind, body and spirit.

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Building Healthy Bodies and Strong Character

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, 62% of kids ages 9-13 do not participate in any organized physical activity outside of school hours, increasing their risk for poorer health and academic outcomes than their peers. The YMCA, Dare to Care, Metro Parks and The Shawnee Boys & Girls Club will host SaturPlay for six weeks this fall, providing youth in one of Louisville’s urban neighborhoods with free Saturday access to:

  • Fun, physically active play in a safe environment;
  • Healthy snacks; and
  • Core character education.

Key components of the program include:

  • Wide variety of activities to attract kids with different interests, abilities and fitness levels;
  • Pre- and post- assessments to measure program impact;
  • Two servings of a healthy snack that kids help prepare, one to enjoy on-site and one to take home for later;
  • Core character education that encourages kids to demonstrate caring, respect, honesty and responsibility through teaching and fun on-the-spot recognition;
  • Creation of a manual to replicate SaturPlay in additional sites in 2017.

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Creating a Culture of Active Lifestyles

Louisville Sports Commission Half Marathon 2012 photo by Jonathan Roberts

Louisville Sports Commission Half Marathon 2012 photo by Jonathan Roberts

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, Louisville ranks #48 out of the 50 largest U.S. metropolitan areas for fitness. Louisville Active is committed to improving this ranking by helping the community understand the value of physical activity in improving overall health and quality of life. We are focused on creating a culture of movement in our city by:

• Offering innovative and diverse programming to encourage residents to get active.
• Creating and expanding existing walking groups and other movement initiatives in neighborhoods with notable health disparities to encourage residents to participate in low impact, safe and accessible group fitness activities.
• Partnering with the Louisville Sports Commission to broaden programming.
• Creating a city-wide awareness campaign through social media, traditional media and personal contact.
• Providing a “clearinghouse” for opportunities to be active.
• Partnering with healthcare, social service organizations and local businesses to share best practice

Louisville Active is aligned with the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement and the Louisville Department of Health and Wellness to create a culture of health and wellness throughout Louisville, and will reside as an ad hoc committee of the Louisville Sports Commission.

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Transforming Vacant Space into a Place that Improves the Health and Well-Being of a Community

SmoketownLaundry_Logo_250The Smoketown Laundry uses an innovative approach to developing community-wide strategies to improve the health of Smoketown residents by transforming an unused property into a laundromat, with multi-functional spaces that facilitate holistic health including physical, economic, and social well-being.

The laundromat will be a place where residents can learn new skills, obtain health services/education, while providing community meeting spaces that enable community networks to be built in between doing laundry. Through a partnership with Youth Build, IDEAS xLab, Simmons College, Bates Community Development Corporation, Jewish Career and Family Services, KentuckyOne Health, and Jewish Hospital and St. Mary’s Foundation, Smoketown Laundry will provide the following services:

  • In an effort to improve the economic well-being of those residing in the Smoketown community, an integral part of the building space will be dedicated to a minorityowned small business incubator. It will support the development of local businesses to help them survive and grow during their start-up periods through assistance and training programs.
  • A Community Health Connector (CHC) will be hired to teach the importance of making healthy choices, serve as a health advocate, and connect community members to services.

For more on the Smoketown Laundry, click here

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Promoting Peaceful & Healthy Relationship Skills for Teens

Most young people engage in multiple relationships through their teenage years, making mistakes and developing relationship skills. The ensuing break-ups can be messy, uncomfortable, and hurtful, with some teens turning to violence to deal with their conflicts. One in three adolescents in the U.S. is estimated to be a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, predisposing them to substance abuse, eating disorders, sexually transmitted infections, cardiovascular disease and even death.

Start Strong Boston will facilitate Louisville’s first annual Healthy Teen Break Up Summit in February 2017. We will invite 150 teens, ages 15-18 in high school grades 10-12, to participate. This one day program will address themes and trends in teen relationships of all kinds and study the disruptive effects of disrespect, cheating, social shaming, and violence.

The Metro Louisville Health Department will provide the named sponsorship. Community stakeholders, including PACT in Action, Green Dot, and The Center for Women & Families, have agreed to provide additional support and guidance to train and empower teens to engage in respectful, non-violent interactions.

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