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Liberty City wins national award to improve safety, health outcomes

By: Chabeli Herrera

A Liberty City neighborhood project to reduce crime and improve health outcomes won anational award Tuesday along with 17 other projects nationwide that take an innovative approach to improving community health.

“Building a Healthy and Resilient Liberty City,” a collaboration between the Florida Institute for Health Innovation, the Miami Children’s Initiative, Catalyst Miami, the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County and the Jackson Health System, won a $75,000 grant in the first BUILD Health Challenge, a national award created by various health foundations including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Cecilia Gutierrez, CEO of the Miami Children’s Initiative, said Liberty City has some of the worst health statistics in Miami-Dade County, high rates of crime.

About half of all Liberty City students say they feel unsafe on their way to and from school, Gutierrez said in a statement.

To improve community safety, the project will work directly with Liberty City residents, train parents to adopt leadership skills and use population data to identify better health outcomes.

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Chairman Jean Monestime said the project will help curb the violence in Liberty City from within.

“By focusing on the health effects of an unsafe community, we will engage a new set of partners with an interest in creating an environment where our children and families can thrive,” Monestime said in a statement.

Follow @MHhealth for health news from South Florida and around the nation. This story was produced in collaboration with Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation.


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