Urban Land Institute Conducting Health Seminars in Lamar


Ed McMahon Introduces ULI Panel Members to Community Gathering

Persons affiliated with the local medical community and interested citizens in general attended a briefing regarding a series of interviews delving into health concerns for Lamar residents.  Several panelists and members of the Urban Land Institute were introduced to the gathering by Edward McMahon, Senior Fellow for Sustainable Development, from ULI, following their afternoon tour of Lamar.  The panelists are in town through the week to conduct a health-oriented study of what citizens feel is most needed to improve the lifestyle and health of the community and its residents.  Lamar is slated to receive a $1 Million dollar grant to use for those improvements. 

Craig Loveless of PMC and Jay Brooke from High Plains Community Health Center

Members of the group met at the Lamar Community Building for introductions on Monday evening, as well as a brief outline of the scope of their work in Lamar.  Tuesday, April 23, was devoted to ULI panelists interviewing community leaders, stakeholders and volunteer residents who had signed up for the series of one hour group interview.  The confidential assessments will be used to identify key opportunities for building health places in Lamar, one of three communities in the state chosen for the grants.  The others were the City of Arvada and the Westwood neighborhood in Southwest Denver.  Lamar is the only rural area selected and will become a model for future comparisons.

Volunteer Panelists Listen to the Initial Briefing at Lamar Community Building


Once the interviews are complete, the panelists will spend Wednesday and Thursday preparing a report on their findings based on the interviews and recommendations.  The presentation to the community will be made this Friday at 8am at the Lamar High School auditorium.  The public is invited to attend the two hour session. 

Shanice Martinez, Lamar High School Junior, Describes the Painting Project She Contributed To

The Healthy Places project was initiated by the Colorado Health Foundation which has a $4.5 million grant to be spread out over a five year study and development of health communities in Colorado.  Following the panel’s findings, Lamar will be able to apply for up to $1 million from the Foundation to help bring the recommendations into reality.  Counties in southeast Colorado have the highest obesity rates and the highest poverty rates in the state.  28% of adults in the Region 6 area are listed as obese and 17% of children are in that category.  As of 2010, every one in three children in Prowers County was listed as living in poverty.  Emily Nieschburg of LiveWell said the funds will be used to help leverage additional dollars to put into the selected programs.

By Russ Baldwin

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