A team from St. Louis won a $60,000 grant from the Reinvestment Fund and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to participate in Invest Health, their initiative to accelerate improvements in neighborhoods that face the biggest barriers to better health.

St. Louis is one of 50 midsize cities in 31 states that will share in $3 million in funding for the initiative, the organizations announced last week. To apply, applicants formed five-member teams including representatives from the public sector, community development, and an anchor organization, such as an academic or health-related institution.

The St. Louis team will focus on food production and systems, with a secondary focus on education and training, according to the Invest Health website. Members of the St. Louis Invest Health team are: Alana Green, acting director, Community Development Administration, city of St. Louis; Karl Guenther, community development specialist, Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis and University of Missouri-St. Louis; Jason Purnell, assistant professor, Brown School of Social Work, Washington University; Karley King, community benefits manager, BJC HealthCare; and Thomas McAuliffe, director of health policy, Missouri Foundation for Health.

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by Diana Barr