As the saying goes, “It takes a village.” And as we undertake this community outreach effort to promote understanding about peripheral artery disease (PAD), we are so fortunate to be working with tremendous partners within the Kansas City community. With their insights and connections, we are sure to make a difference and help people improve their cardiovascular health. We asked one of our partners to explain his role in this endeavor.
Meet Chris McKinney
I’m the Choice Neighborhood Initiative: Paseo Gateway community liaison. The Choice Neighborhood Initiative is a $30 million grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the city of Kansas City, Missouri. This project is providing six mixed-income housing developments, which includes replacement housing for the existing 134-unit public housing development, Chouteau Courts. Along with providing replacement housing, the grant enables Critical Community Improvement projects, which consist of placemaking, public park improvements, small business façade improvement, and minor home repair programs.
These projects are revitalizing the area around the new developments to create a welcoming and healthy environment for the current and new residents of northeast Kansas City. In my role, I connect stakeholders to execute existing projects and plan new projects. I also ensure residents remain engaged and that their feedback guides all decisions. Finally, I lead the effort to ensure sustainability for all the investments beyond the life of the Choice Neighborhood Initiative grant.
In my efforts to create an environment that supports project sustainability, I’ve worked to engage organizations and individuals that have exhibited the capacity, energy and vision for healthy communities. While health in this sense does not only relate to physical health, physical health is a big component of a healthy community.
This is where the Saint Luke’s PAD grant fits perfectly. The grant will help to encourage residents to get out into the community and interact with neighbors and utilize public spaces. Being that social interaction and cohesion are the hallmarks of strong communities, I believe this will go a long way in ensuring that the Choice Neighborhood Initiative: Paseo Gateway project will be very successful.