Health Department

Building a Healthier Independence is a grant initiative funded by the Social Innovation for Missouri grant and the Community Transformation Grant. The health department was awarded more than one million dollars over the next five years to complete this project.

The project will make it easier and safer for our citizens to be physically active, make healthy food choices, and reduce tobacco consumption. This is being accomplished through partnerships with multiple City departments and local community partners. The expected outcomes include increased use of the community recreational facility, increased safety with new or repaired sidewalks and emergency blue phones on trails, increased consumption of fresh produce, increased consumption of healthier foods with menu labeling, decreased tobacco usage at parks and trails, and increased awareness of smoking cessation classes and the harms of tobacco use.

Upcoming Events

The Mile Starts Here
Wednesdays, 9 A.M., Locations will include Waterfall Park, McCoy Park, Rotary Park Trail, Independence Athletic Complex, Missouri Department Conservation Trail/Santa Fe Trail Park, and Community of Christ Temple Trail.  See flyer for details.

Big Tomato Contest
June 30 - August 25, 8 A.M. - 11 A.M., Square Farmers' Market.  Bring your home-grown tomato in for an official weigh-in and a chance to win a weekly and grand prize.  See flyer for a full list of rules.

Veggin' Out at the Oasis

August 4, 8:30 P.M.- 10:00 P.M., Stop by Adventure Oasis to slip and slide your way to  healthy and flavorful summertime foods, courtesy of Hy-Vee. Once you've enjoyed a lite meal, hop on our Pedal Powered Bike Blender and pedal your way to a refreshing fruit smoothie! See flyer for more details.

In 2011, the Building a Healthier Independence grant initiative produced the following results:

Established a Complete Streets Policy, which requires transportation projects to include methods of travel for pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, vehicles, and buses.

Repainted all school crosswalks the last week of July and the first week of August 2011 (290 total).

Completed one sidewalk to Fairmount Elementary School and two sidewalks to parks.

Increased Sermon Center fitness membership by 16% since March 2011.

Purchased and installed seven new pieces of cardio equipment at the Sermon Center.

Printed 15,000 new trail guides to distribute throughout the community.

Increased food stamp use at the local farmers market by 92% through the use of cooking demonstrations and advertisements.

This next year, BHI will work on the following:

Healthy Foods

-Encouraging point-of-sale nutrition labeling for non-chain restaurants and provide incentives as needed

-Introducing a third farmers' market location

-Assisting corner stores in improving the quality and quantity of fresh produce in their stores especially in food deserts

-Working with neighborhood groups to form community gardens

Working to improve the number of healthy snacks available in local vending machines

Physical Activity

- Install emergency phones at six locations along the Little Blue Trace Trail

-Improve sidewalks to parks and schools

-Install additional GIS trail markers on area trails

-Update trail guides and GIS maps of parks, school playgrounds, trails

-Encourage walk-to-school programs (please contact us if you school is interested)

-Monitor and assess the implementation of the newly passed Complete Streets Policy

Tobacco Reduction

-Increasing awareness through advertising including billboards and print ads, which support smoking cessation

Implementing an ordinance for smoke-free parks and trails

-Working with area businesses to create smoke-free campus and workplace policies

-Working with area housing authorities on smoke-free multi-unit housing policies


Read more about the Building a Healthier Independence grant initiative, and please visit our Facebook page.