In the fall of 2020, Memorial Health Foundation received a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, Pathways to a Healthy Kansas Implementation Grant in the amount of $40,070.15, and a $5,000 Community Spaces Grant from the Union Pacific Foundation, to help construct a ¼ mile walking path on the south side of the Memorial Hospital campus. The Memorial View Walking Path is open to the public.
Several years ago, Memorial Health System (MHS), Chief Executive Officer, Harold Courtois, signed a pledge to “affirm our commitment to taking on new opportunities that provide greater access to healthy lifestyles for our patients and employees,” he said. “We believe it is our responsibility and our duty as a health care organization to improve the lives of the population we serve, and encourage strong community norms for healthier living. We are willing to learn more about making healthy environment and healthy policy changes to help all employees, patients, and community members live longer and have better quality lives.”
“The Quality of Life Coalition (in Abilene) deserves the credit for bringing the Pathways grant to Dickinson County,” said Kim Stivers, MHS Director of Community Affairs and the Foundation. “They have been wonderful to work with, and I know there are many businesses and organizations in the community who have and will continue to benefit from their work.”
The Union Pacific Community Spaces Grant was a bonus for the project. “I knew the Union Pacific Foundation was accepting grant applications, and after reviewing the criteria, I felt like it was a great fit for what we had been working on through the Pathways grant. We are just so thankful for the opportunity to bring a new location for walking and exercise to our community,” Stivers said. “It’s a beautiful lot, in an excellent location, and we are so pleased the community has embraced it, they are using it, and it is going to be a beautiful destination for healthy community activity.”
Memorial Health System is nestled in a quiet neighborhood on the east side of Abilene. There are many homes in the area, and very few sidewalks. Memorial Health System, through a worksite wellness plan, encourages staff to get up and move during the day.
“This walking path provides a safe place for the community, employees, and patients to walk and get exercise,” Stivers said. The funds from the Pathways and Union Pacific grants were used for phase one of the concrete and construction of the walking trail.
Phase one consisted of the main loop of the trail, and one ADA accessible ramp for entrance to the lot and trail. As more funds become available, additional walkways, landscaping, and visitor enhancements will be added.
Memorial Health Foundation will provide an additional $7,000 from donations to the walking path project, and continues to raise funds through donations, grants, and memorials to fund additional enhancements for the area.
If you would like to make a donation to help enhance the walking path area, please contact Kim Stivers, at (785) 263-6686 or email email@example.com.
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