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City of Hopkinsville Receives Kentucky Public Health Association (KPHA) Group Award

The City of Hopkinsville has been awarded the 2015 Kentucky Public Health Association (KPHA) Group Award. KPHA is a nonprofit, independent, voluntary organization and is in the capable position of confronting critical issues relating to legislation at the local, regional, and state level. Each year the KPHA Awards Committee solicits nominations for eleven different awards given annually at the KPHA Conference. KPHA confers these awards as a means of honoring the best of the best in public health areas throughout the Commonwealth.  The KPHA Group Awardis given to honor a designated group or organization that has collectively contributed to public health program development toward the enhancement of public health in the Commonwealth. Accepting the award on behalf of the City of Hopkinsville were Councilman Wendell Lynch and City Human Resources Director Kenneth Grabara.

The City of Hopkinsville participated as a community partner in the 2012 Christian County Community Health Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plan facilitated by the Christian County Health Department.  The community health assessment identified a high instance of chronic disease, high smoking rate, high instance of cancer, and low access to health care and preventative health care. In addition, the 2011 County Health Rankings rated Christian County’s infrastructure for access to health and wellness facilities as low.  Three initiatives established within the community health improvement plan were a smoke free ordinance, the completion of the renovation of an existing rail trail to become a walking/cycling trail, and the establishment of a public transportation system in Hopkinsville.     

In October 2012, Hopkinsville City Council adopted an ordinance regulating smoking in enclosed public places and work places, establishing civil fines for violation and establishing enforcement procedures.  This comprehensive smoke-free ordinance was enacted in January 2013 and has been successfully in place for two years.

In 2001, a local non-profit organization called the Pennyrile Rail Trail Foundation was formed in support of the idea of converting an abandoned Ft Campbell rail spur into a linear park that would provide cost effective and safe recreation.  In 2012, Hopkinsville City Council made a commitment to help facilitate the development of a rails-to-trails project in Hopkinsville (today known as the Hopkinsville Greenway System).  Phase 1 of the project was opened in 2014, measuring over three miles. There are trailheads with public parks, parking, wellness information, and restrooms.  In the future, there are plans for two more phases, with mileage totaling more than 15 miles of converted railways.

In addition, Hopkinsville City Council has worked with the Christian County Board of Health on providing proper remediation and improvements to a tract of land formerly quarantined by the Board of Health for histoplasma capsulatum into a passive park and trailhead for the Hopkinsville Greenway. 

In December 2014, the City of Hopkinsville rolled out the buses and launched the Hopkinsville Transit System with routes including grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals, physician offices, and the health department.

Because of these efforts, The City of Hopkinsville was recognized and awarded the KPHA Group Award on April 15th, 2015 at the Annual KPHA Conference held in Owensboro, KY.

We would like to thank former Mayor Dan Kemp, current Mayor Carter Hendricks, and the Hopkinsville City Council for their steadfast commitment and support in actively improving the wellness and quality of life in Hopkinsville and Christian County.

Those pictured left to right are: Mark Pyle, Christian County Health Dept Director; Wendell Lynch, Hopkinsville Councilman; Kenny Grabara, Hopkinsville HR Officer; and Justin Pittman, KPHA President.