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Lewiston, Id – Lewiston Mayor Dan Johnson recently completed the Community Health Academy, a program of the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health (the Foundation) that provides expertise and funding to help build healthier communities.

The Community Health Academy is a learning collaborative where mayors and city staff collaborate with each other and learn from local and national experts. Sessions in the academy focus on things that impact community health, such as childcare, communications, housing, food systems, civility, and creating pedestrian-friendly environments.

“The biggest benefit I found from the Community Health Academy was listening and learning from others across the state,” Mayor Johnson said. “We have so much in common, but we are so different. We share examples of how we solved our problems and explore new ideas to solve new problems.”

The City of Lewiston received a $20,000 grant for completing the academy. Johnson said those funds will be used for pedestrian and connectivity projects throughout the city.

The Community Health Academy is open to all Idaho cities, who must apply to the annual program. Lewiston was one of nine cities that was accepted into this year’s academy. The other participating cities were Caldwell, Glenns Ferry, Idaho Falls, New Meadows, Nezperce, Payette, Weiser and Wendell.

“Cities that attend the Community Health Academy leave with knowledge, actionable items, and funding to help make transformational change within their communities,” said Kendra Witt-Doyle, Executive Director, Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health.