Miami News

City of Miami Department of Human Services Earns National Recognition for Little Havana Public Health Program

PG 9 LHLH AWARD - City of Miami Department of Human Services Earns National Recognition for Little Havana Public Health Program

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, City Commissioners and members of the City's Department of Human Services accept a $50,000 award check for the "Live Healthy Little Havana" initiative on February 28, 2019

Today, the City of Miami Department of Human Services was publicly recognized by the nationwide Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge for its work on the "Live Healthy Little Havana" initiative. The national recognition earned the City's Department of Human Services a total of $85,000 in grants and prizes to continue their work to improve health outcomes for Miamians. City leaders accepted a portion of that funding - a check for $50,000 - at today's City Commission meeting.

“I applaud the professionals in our Department of Human Services for their important work to help Miami residents lead healthier lives,” said City of Miami Manager Emilio T. Gonzalez. “Their efforts through the ‘Live Healthy Little Havana’ initiative are proof-positive of our local government’s ability to meaningfully and positively impact the lives of those we serve.” 

“Live Healthy Little Havana” was launched by the Health Foundation of South Florida in 2014 as a multi-partner initiative, and the City of Miami’s Department of Human Services has taken a leading role in its implementation. The 6-year initiative is built around the idea that a community’s economic, social and physical environments have a profound impact on residents’ health. With that in mind, the City of Miami has been engaging with Little Havana residents and stakeholders over the past several years to improve the neighborhood, so that the neighborhood itself can become an agent of good health.

The Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge is a collaboration between the Aetna Foundation, the American Public Health Association (APHA) and the National Association of Counties (NACo), empowering 50 small- to midsize U.S. cities and counties to make measurable, scalable improvements to public health issues in their local communities. Since its inception, $1.5 million in grants and prizes have been awarded to the 50 participating programs to support their efforts to tackle the major health issues facing their communities.

“We recognize that to solve our most pressing public health issues, we have to start at the local level – acknowledging the solutions to our problems are as diverse as the communities facing them,” said Dr. Garth Graham, president of the Aetna Foundation, an independent philanthropic arm of CVS Health, which is working to deliver on the company’s purpose of helping people on their path to better health. “It is our hope the outstanding achievements of the City of Miami will serve as a catalyst for collaboration in local communities around the country working to move the needle in combating health disparities.”

Information about the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge is available at

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