LiveWell Colorado is pleased to announce the new Colorado Wellness Champion Award, established to celebrate an individual who understands the long-term implications of obesity in our state and has taken an active role to create sustainable change in his or her community. Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock is the first recipient of the annual award based on his support of numerous initiatives that have directly improved the health of Denver citizens, including the more than 130,000 children who call Denver home.

Mayor Hancock has created programs that influence the root causes of obesity and provide access to healthy eating and active living opportunities within communities where such access may not have previously existed. This includes the creation of the Children’s Cabinet—a group of city department and partner agency leaders with a goal of reducing the number of overweight and obese children in Denver—and the implementation of community-specific solutions, including the MY Denver Card program, which offers free, year-round access to Denver’s recreation centers to area youth and has resulted in a near 300 percent increase in parks and recreation usage.

Mayor Michael B. Hancock Receives 2014 LiveWell Colorado Wellness Champion AwardMayor Hancock also has instilled the importance of a healthy culture among Denver adults. City employees are motivated and supported to make healthy behavior changes and he committed more than $1.8 billion to wellness-related infrastructure, such as bike sharing programs and safe routes, during the last two years.

“LiveWell Colorado is committed to reducing obesity and achieving the wellness of all Coloradans. This level of sustainable change across the state depends on effective champions who are dedicated to leading the charge,” said Shepard Nevel, president and CEO of LiveWell Colorado. “Mayor Hancock exemplifies the powerful and lasting impact such champions can have in our community and we look forward to working closely with him to sustain and build on the momentum he has created.”

Learn more about the numerous healthy initiatives Mayor Hancock has implemented at http://youtu.be/YrybKJ7Rvz4.