News Flash

Roanoke News

Posted on: January 26, 2021

City, Partners Team Up With NLC to Address Root Causes of Poor Health Through Community Partnerships

The City of Roanoke and its partners, Carilion Clinic and United Way of Roanoke Valley, are proud to join an in-depth learning network led by the National League of Cities (NLC), in partnership with the Center to Advance Community Health & Equity (CACHE) at the Public Health Institute (PHI), to foster and strengthen collaboration between municipal governments and health systems stakeholders, including local hospital systems, public health departments, and their community partners. The network aims to help ensure robust partnerships between local government and community partners to improve health outcomes for our residents and advance equity in Roanoke. 

 “This is just the latest initiative in the long history of an outstanding partnership with Carilion Clinic and United Way so that together, we can continue to improve the health and lives of our residents,” said Roanoke Mayor Sherman P. Lea.

NLC, through its “Cities of Opportunity” initiative, works to help local leaders address holistically, interconnected factors that affect residents’ life expectancy and help embed resiliency in all communities. The City of Roanoke was selected along with 22 other municipalities across the country to participate in “Cities of Opportunity.” In the next several months, Roanoke will be working with nine other local governments within the initiative, specifically, in the Cities and Health Systems Community of Practice to change power structures, economic policies and systems that have blocked opportunities for marginalized communities over generations. 

The City of Roanoke was selected for the initiative due to the City’s demonstrated commitment to advancing programs, policies, and practices that advance health equity in our community. Additionally, the City has a proven track record of bringing together various multi-sector stakeholders committed to improving the health and well-being of all Roanoke residents. 

The City and its partners intend on building upon the foundation established through its previous engagements with the National League of Cities and its Cities of Opportunity initiative, as exemplified through the recent adoption of the City’s Comprehensive Plan, with its dual emphasis on improving health outcomes and addressing inequities in the community.

“The root causes of poor health, or the factors influencing how well we live and how long we live, lead to distinct inequities resulting in significant differences in the quality and length of life among residents across the country,” said Sue Polis, Director of Health and Wellness at the National League of Cities. “The National League of Cities is proud to work with the City of Roanoke in its efforts to turn this unprecedented time and its myriad of challenges into an opportunity to build a new, bright and more equitable future for all Roanoke residents.” 

The Cities of Opportunity Community of Practice begins January 2021 and will run through July 2021. The work is generously supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 

For more information, contact City Manager Bob Cowell through Melinda Mayo at melinda.mayo@roanokeva.gov, 540-853-6357, or Kat Maramba with the National League of Cities at Maramba@nlc.org, (202) 740-3069.

The National League of Cities (NLC) is the voice of America’s cities, towns and villages, representing more than 200 million people. NLC works to strengthen local leadership, influence federal policy and drive innovative solutions. Stay connected with NLC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

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