Thursday, November 17, 2011

City and Cigna Collaborate to Host Richmond Communities of Health Forum

Through a collaboration with Cigna, the city of Richmond hosted a Communities of Health Forum - Better Together: Collaborating to Achieve a Healthy Richmond, yesterday at the Omni Richmond Hotel. The goal of the forum was to identify and prioritize high-leverage and sustainable actions to further enhance existing programs and eliminate key barriers to health, including social determinants of health.

“Upon taking office, I quickly became aware of the disparity in health care resources and outcomes for many of Richmond’s most economically challenged residents. The discussion and information gathered within this health forum will further aid my administration’s focus on the specific needs of Richmond residents,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “I would like to thank Cigna and Dr. Frank Brown for their partnership with the city of Richmond and their commitment to improving communities by addressing health disparities.”

“We know that it is important to work closely with communities and local leaders to identify problems and work together to find solutions that will lead to improved health for the citizens of Richmond,” added Frank Brown, M.D., market medical executive for Cigna's Mid-Atlantic region. “We are pleased that we can collaborate with the city on this dynamic social initiative to change healthcare.”

During yesterday’s forum, attendees discussed the top five recommendations from Mayor Jones’ Blue Ribbon Commission on Health Policy and explored opportunities of building support and engagement amongst residents, businesses, and non-profit communities. The forum detailed the next steps of developing and sustaining a healthy Richmond to include the detailing of needed resources, importance of preventative healthcare and expanding the capacity of service providers. Forum participants will discuss the implementation of these action steps during future meetings.

The Communities of Health Forum is part of Mayor Jones continued effort to improve the health and well being of city residents. The Mayor has launched several city initiatives, commissions, and task forces including the Pedestrian, Bicycling and Trails Commission; Breast Feeding Commission; Food Policy Task Force; and the recent Healthy Richmond Campaign.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

City Expands Use and Reach of GIS Information

~New web site shares more GIS maps to user browsers and on mobile devices~

The city of Richmond has launched an updated web site for the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) program. GIS is used to manage and analyze the geospatial information that applies to government operations and many aspects of decision making in government, business, and the community. The new web site was recently show-cased as part of an Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) seminar for GIS professionals here in Richmond at the Omni Hotel. ESRI is the world-leading GIS software vendor, whose software the city has based its GIS on.

The new site features: (1) improved presentation and organization of GIS content, (2) new GIS content, (3) a new approach to sharing GIS maps which includes mobile support, and (4) new support for maps published in collaboration with the community. The updated web site increases the amount of GIS information available to residents and the business community by publishing a multitude of interactive GIS maps. The online, interactive maps are categorized under topics such as Community & Economic Development, Transportation & Engineering, and Real Estate & Assessment, to name just a few. The city expects to author more maps, content, and categories of information over time.

GIS Real Estate-based mapping applications that were previously available on the city’s web site are still in place and remain among the most popular stops for visitors to Unlike many localities, the city continues to make most common GIS data available free of charge to the community via FTP download. This service is still available and is now referenced through the new Gallery section. “The city recognizes that GIS information is used to promote and advance the city, so our new site strives to make it more accessible and to make it increasingly available,” said GIS Coordinator Steve Waldron with the city’s Department of Information Technology.

The Gallery provides the essential portal into Richmond maps and information. It provides interactive maps that can be accessed on the web or even from mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets. The site now supports most major mobile platforms including iOS, Windows Phone 7, and Android.

While the Gallery organizes the addition of more interactive GIS maps, the Submit Your App section invites techies and users from outside of the organization to share their own GIS applications with the city. These applications may also be considered for posting in the city’s Gallery. Essentially, GIS users throughout the Richmond region will be able to create and share their own spatial information with other residents through the site.

Visit Richmond’s new GIS site here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mayor Jones Elected to the 2012 National League of Cities Board of Directors

Mayor Dwight C. Jones was elected to the 2012 Board of Directors of the National League of Cities (NLC) on Saturday, November 12, at the conclusion of the Congress of Cities and Exposition in Phoenix, AZ. NLC’s Board meets throughout the year and leads the organization by shaping policies and priorities and directing the advocacy, research and membership activities of NLC.

“Being elected to serve the nations’ cities and towns is a high honor,” said Mayor Jones. “I have been actively involved on the board of Virginia Municipal League, and I have a great appreciation for the power local officials have when our collective voices come together on critical issues.”

NLC also elected new officers for the coming year, including Bluffton, IN, Mayor Ted Ellis as President; Avondale, AZ, Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers as First Vice President; and Saint Paul, MN, Mayor Chris Coleman as Second Vice President.

In addition, 22 other new board members were elected during the meeting. The full Board consists of 40 local elected officials and state municipal league directors.

Elected to the Board of Directors for two-year terms:

· Dwight C. Jones, Mayor, Richmond, VA

· Tennell Atkins, Council Member, Dallas, TX

· David Baker, Mayor, Kenmore, WA

· Dan Besse, Council Member, Winston-Salem, NC

· Nancy J. Chaney, Mayor, Moscow, ID

· Sandra Colvin Roy, Council Member, Minneapolis, MN

· Richard Byrd Conlin, Councilmember, Seattle, WA

· Joy Cooper, Mayor, Hallandale Beach, FL

· Doug Echols, Mayor, Rock Hill, SC

· Dennis Kavanaugh, Councilmember, Mesa, AZ

· Kevin J. Kramer, Councilman, Louisville, KY

· Randon K. Lane, Mayor, Murrieta, CA

· Garret Nancolas, Mayor, Caldwell, ID

· Robert D. Newell, Mayor, Parkersburg, W.VA

· Bernita Sims, Council Member, High Point, NC

· Betty L. Taylor, Council President, Eugene, OR

· Matt Zone, Council Member, Cleveland, OH

Elected to the Board of Directors for a one-year term:

Murry K. Witcher, Alderman, North Little Rock, AR

Jesse Matthews, Council Member, Bessemer, AL

State Municipal League Directors elected to the Board:

· Peter Baynes, New York State Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials

· Mike McCarty, Association of Washington Cities

· Yvonne Taylor, South Dakota Municipal League

· George Wright, Delaware League of Local Governments

The National League of Cities is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.