Mayor Bob Henry announced today the creation of a “think tank” coalition to pull stakeholders from the community together to help address some of the critical issues that Nampa faces today. The coalition held its first meeting earlier this month.“Healthy Impact Nampa Coalition is intended to have a positive impact on the community that goes beyond what we typically think when you hear the words ‘health’ or ‘healthy,’ ” Henry said in making the announcement.“Nampa is a wonderful place to live and raise families, but I think we can all agree we can make it even better,” Henry said.A recent community assessment discovered many of those bright spots, but also shed light on some issues that we as a community needs to address: affordable housing, public transportation and access to healthy food.In March during the State of the City address, Henry asked: What role does city government play in addressing these issues vs. private sector participation?At that time, he called on the leaders of Saint Alphonsus and St. Luke’s to help address these challenges. And Mayor Henry takes more action this week by pulling together about 30 individuals from a wide variety of entities to make a healthy impact in Nampa.“There’s no easy answer and the city doesn’t have a lot of resources to solve these community problems,” Henry said. “The city of Nampa, however, can facilitate conversations and form a coalition of different stakeholders in Nampa to improve communication among different groups trying to make a difference. It will take the community – from its residents to private businesses, local organizations, churches and yes, even the city to a degree – to drive positive change.”“I’ve tapped two people who have incredible passion for this community to co-chair this coalition,” Henry said.Jean Mutchie, St. Luke’s Children’s Program manager, and Sheri Ainsworth, Saint Alphonsus director of Mission Integration and Community Health & Well Being, will lead this effort.
Henry said Mutchie and Ainsworth understand the mission and they want to make a difference in Nampa. As a coalition, it’s possible to make a healthy impact in priority areas. It could also mean having enough clout to apply for other grants.“There are several excellent efforts in Nampa working independently to address the lack of affordable housing, improve public transportation and find better ways to give people easier access to healthy food, but this is an opportunity for us to link arms and find solutions,” Mutchie said.The goal of the coalition is to pull representatives from the different entities together at the same table and see where united efforts can pay bigger dividends.“We wish we could include everyone in this effort, and in some respects, we will. Although the coalition will number about 30, we will still need the collective muscle of a greater outreach to community leaders who can lend their expertise,” Henry said.