2017 in review: Collecting data and collaborating with new partners

Last year was a busy one for the Institute. We hosted 14 events, gave 11 national presentations about our work and 10 local presentations. We completed the AIR Louisville project with 251,379 data points about asthma medication use and 1.4 million related environmental data points. We published report cards for the asthma project and Green for Good. This study tested the idea that a greener neighborhood is a healthier one.

In October we launched Green Heart, a project that builds on Green for Good by expanding the idea to a neighborhood level. On October 26, we had speakers at the Kentucky African American Heritage Center, tours of the neighborhood and a dinner to celebrate. This project is a collaboration that includes the University of Louisville, Hyphae Design Lab, Washington University in St. Louisville, the Institute, and The Nature Conservancy. The five-year project will test the hypothesis that a greener neighborhood is a healthier one. Lauren Anderson of t*he Institute has taken the lead on community outreach. She has met with leaders in the south Louisville neighborhood where the study will take place. Lauren completed 30 engagement meetings in 2017 and has more on the schedule for 2018. The Institute also hired Jennifer Nunn, a resident of the Green Heart neighborhood. She is offering feedback on the project to the leadership team and connecting with residents in the neighborhood.

Lauren Anderson of the Institute describes community engagement plans for the Green Heart Project.

Policy work
We did a lot more policy work in 2017 than in previous years. This included:

  • Public comment on proposed VA Hospital site
  • Public comment and collaboration with local groups on ASRC modification request
  • Education campaign on expansion of indoor smoking ban

Also in 2017, city government leaders worked on an update to the Comprehensive Plan. Based on data from AIR Louisville, we proposed 2 new policies:

  • Increase the requirement to replace tree canopy during development from 15% to 45%. Under the current rule, developers are required to replace only 15% of the trees chopped down during construction projects. As trees provide so many benefits to humans – cooling our homes, removing pollution from the air, absorbing storm water, and increasing home values – it makes sense to preserve as many trees as we can and to replace any we cut down.
  • Use Green infrastructure to improve air quality. Cities should use land use and development policies to protect vulnerable populations from air pollution from cars. Development policy should require facilities serving vulnerable populations be at least 500 feet from high traffic roadways. Vulnerable populations include children under 18 and adults over 65. Facilities serving vulnerable populations include daycares, schools, universities, nursing homes, and hospitals. This recommendation comes from the American Planning Association’s Metrics for Planning Healthy Communities.

2017 Events

In 2017, we worked with City Lab to host Louisville in Harmony. The goal of this event was to define the next phase of the cross-sector collaboration that powered AIR Louisville. Now that the three-year community asthma project is complete, how can we take the energy and analysis from that work and direct it at a new project to improve the health of everyone in Louisville? At this event, we heard from Health Ambassadors who had developed their own unique collaborations across companies, organizations and individuals. The group then took on three challenges found in many Louisville neighborhoods:

  • After-school activities for kids
  • Economic development
  • Air pollution

We are finishing a report on the event and will be identifying next steps for one of these challenges by the end of Q1.

Ambassadors Nasra Hussein and Sadia Abdirahman at the Spring Reception

The Ambassadors for Health in All Policies program is another unique collaboration that we launched in 2017.
These 56 community leaders represent businesses, schools and philanthropic organizations around the city. There are students, doctors, entrepreneurs, artists and poets among the Ambassadors. There are three types of Ambassadors: students, business leaders and community leaders. These individuals understand the interconnections and interdependence among the many factors that influence human health. Each Ambassador is working in at least one of the eight areas of health represented the Circle of Health and Harmony. Our 2017 events stretched all the way around the Circle also.


  • Break Up Summit
  • March

  • Air Policy Summit
  • April

  • Reception for Spring 2017 Ambassadors for Health In All Policies
  • May

  • AIR Louisville Provider Lunch
  • June

  • Air Walk with artist Dominique Paul
  • AIR Louisville Report Release
  • Ambassador Networking Breakfast
  • September

  • Well Building Workshop
  • August

  • Ambassador Networking Lunch
  • October

  • Health in All Policies Training for Ambassadors
  • Reception for Autumn 2017 Ambassadors for Health In All Policies
  • Green Heart Launch
  • November

  • CEO Diabetes Roundtable with Louisville Health Advisory Board
  • December

  • Louisville in Harmony: The Power of Collaboration

National Presentations

In addition to getting the word out in Louisville about our work, the Institute team traveled around the country to share our research and citizen science projects with other interested groups.


  • Sharing Knowledge to Build a Culture of Health, Louisville, KY
  • April

  • MATRC 2017 Telehealth Summit, Leesburg, VA
  • August

  • Health Impact Assessment Training, Dale Hollow, KY
  • September

  • Asthma and Air Pollution Summit, Pittsburgh, PA
  • ACO & Payer Leadership Summit, Los Angeles, CA
  • October

  • Root Cause Conference, Louisville, KY
  • Meeting of the Minds, Cleveland, OH
  • November

  • American Public Health Association 2017 Conference, Atlanta, GA
  • EPA Region 4 staff, Atlanta, GA
  • Nemacolin International Asthma Conference, Farmingham, PA
  • Past Forward 2017, Chicago, IL




Today we are proud to launch The Green Heart Project

Along with our partners, we are thrilled to announce the launch of our most important work to date. The Green Heart Project is a five-year collaboration with scientists and residents to precisely define the power of nature to project human health.

Click here to read more about our work.




Welcome to our newest Ambassadors for Health

We are thrilled to welcome 27 new Ambassadors for Health in all Policies. These individuals join the founding class inducted this spring. We are looking forward to getting to know these individuals and lifting up their work in our city. Collaboration is the key to solving the many problems facing Louisville.

Congratulations! Check out the full roster with pictures here.
Neville Blakemore, GN Building Products
Allison Brown, Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP
Micah Cargin, Humble Warrior Incorporated
Leslie Clements, Humana
Ava Corwin, Center for Health Equity
Dr. Kish Cumi, Smoketown Family Wellness Center
Sarah Lynn Cunningham, Louisville Climate Action Network
Kelley Dearing Smith, Louisville Water Company
Sandra Diminnie Bowling, Project Warm
Jody Duncan, Building Our Blocks
Stephanie Fellon, Gilda’s Club
Rob Frederick, Brown-Forman
Jeff Gill, Hip Hop Cares
Jud Hendrix, Global Human Project
Kyle Kramer, Passionist Earth & Spirit Center
Kel McBride, Clearly Depart
Josh Miller, IDEAS xLab
Cheyenne Mize, Strive 502
Becky Montague, Family Community Clinic
Karyn Moskowitz, New Roots
Dr. Sarah Moyer, Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness
Patti Olsen, Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness
Prasanthi Persad, Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness
Father John Rausch, Catholic Communities of Appalachia
Nina Rodahaffer, Strive 502
Leah Walker, Family & Children’s Place
Dr. David Wicks, Jefferson County Public Schools (ret.)

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