Greater Wichita YMCA Director of Community Development Becky Tuttle was recently selected to receive the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Award for Health Equity. The award will be presented by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) at its annual conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, Sept. 25–27, 2018.
“With the serious health concerns and disparities we face today, local park and recreation agencies are well-positioned in every community across the country to create environments that promote healthy, active living and support a Culture of Health,” said Barbara Tulipane, CAE, NRPA president and CEO. “NRPA is pleased to honor our nation’s park and recreation heroes—agencies and individuals who work tirelessly and with passion to improve lives and make their communities great.”
About the Award
The RWJF-NPRA Award for Health Equity is one of five NRPA Spotlight Awards presented to individuals and agencies across the U.S. to honor their efforts in the field of parks and recreation. Recipients are selected from a pool of applicants by NRPA’s National Awards and Scholarship Committee, and are chosen for excellence in a variety of topics, including professional and voluntary service, programming, leadership, research and public outreach.
The RWJF Awards for Health Equity is supporting nine national membership organizations to find and honor individuals who are successfully using systems changes to advance health equity within their communities. NRPA is one of these national membership organizations. The RWJF-NPRA Award for Health Equity recognizes one person, or team of two, who has successfully implemented system-wide policies and strategies to reduce health disparities in his/her community through parks and recreation within the past two years. This award supports RWJF’s vision for a Culture of Health in which everyone has the opportunity to live the healthiest life possible.
Tuttle’s Impact on Health Equity
Becky Tuttle has more than twenty-years of population health experience engaging community partners through grassroots efforts to improve the health of the community, specifically in vulnerable populations.
As the YMCA’s Director of Community Development, Tuttle leads programs throughout the region that address teen employment, juvenile crime and afterschool safety, childhood drowning, personal, family and community nutrition, workplace wellness, and disease management.
Her career and work at the Y also focuses on policy initiatives at the organizational, community and state levels, including clean indoor air and tobacco-free parks initiatives, community water fluoridation, and Wichita Bicycle/Pedestrian Master Plans, Multi-Modal Policy and Street Design Guidance to ensure a community that promotes active transportation.
As the Chair of the Health & Wellness Coalition of Wichita (HWC), Tuttle partnered with the City of Wichita Parks and Recreation and was instrumental in implementing the Bike Share ICT program, which launched in May 2017. Tuttle served as the primary author for the almost three quarter of a million dollar proposal that funds the program allowing for no cost to the City. In her role as Chairperson for the Health Alliance and the Coalition of Coalitions Building the Case for Public Health in Sedgwick County, Tuttle has been instrumental in the community health assessment and planning process in Sedgwick County to address health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, physical environment and infant mortality.
“Becky is seen as a ‘dot connector’ in the community, leveraging partnerships and resources to strengthen the public health infrastructure,” said YMCA President and CEO Ronn McMahon. “The Y is all about strengthening community, and that’s exactly what Becky does. We thank the City of Wichita Park and Recreation department for nominating her for this award. It’s wonderful to see her getting well-deserved national recognition for the many things she’s making possible in Wichita.”
A full list of NRPA Spotlight Award winners is available here.