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November 2017

Thursday, November 16
Invest Health Summit To Promote Health Equity Strategies For Missoula - 11/16
7:30 AM
University of Montana

Free summit to focus on creating a culture of health in Missoula

A free summit at the University of Montana on Thursday, Nov. 16, from 7:30 a.m. to noon, will bring together public- and private-sector leaders, planners, advocates, and decision makers to learn about effective strategies for advancing health equity in Missoula.

The Missoula Invest Health team is sponsoring the summit, titled "Building A Healthier Missoula: Promoting Health Equity For All." Missoula Invest Health is one of 50 teams from mid-sized cities around the nation selected for funding by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Reinvestment Fund for a new initiative that brings together diverse leaders to develop new strategies for increasing and leveraging private and public investments in neighborhoods facing the biggest barriers to better health. The initiative's principal goal is to transform the way local leaders work together to create solution-driven, diverse partnerships that make changes in low-income neighborhoods to improve resident health and well-being. 

Missoula's team includes leaders from the City of Missoula, Missoula City-County Health Department, NeighborWorks Montana, Providence/St. Patrick Hospital, and United Way of Missoula County. For the last 18 months, the team has been examining health disparities in three Missoula neighborhoods, and promoting strategies to address them.

"As it turns out, the way we design communities changes the way people live, and when we design our places to serve all of us, all of us do better," said Mayor John Engen, who will speak at the summit. "This summit is about creating a community culture that intentionally plans for development that encourages active, healthy lifestyles for all Missoulians, no matter where they live in the city. Everyone deserves a safe, healthy, fun, accessible place to live, and this summit is designed to get us closer to that goal," he said.

The half-day summit will focus on ways to incorporate the concept of health equity in policies, plans and programs to improve health outcomes for all residents.  The keynote speaker is Janna West Kowalski, MS, a national community health expert with County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The summit will also include stories from a community resident panel and breakout sessions on the subjects of active transportation, healthy food, outdoor recreation, quality housing, and urban forestry. Participants will discuss existing or new policies and plans in these areas, and recommend strategies for implementation. More information is available from Lisa Beczkiewicz,; 406.258.3389.

Register online at

Contact: Lisa Beczkiewicz: 406.258.3389

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