The creation of a community wellness area anchored by two West Valley hospitals and supported by a coalition of community partners in Goodyear is capturing national attention, winning a top award from General Electric.

The 129-acre project, named Goodyear Community Health Park, is being developed through a collaboration between the City of Goodyear, Abrazo West Campus, Adelante Healthcare, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, John D. Kuhn Ventures and Hickman Farms, among others.

For its ability to bring together a wide variety of community stakeholders interested in improving public health through a public/private partnership, the project won the GE HealthyCities Leadership Challenge.

goodyearcommunityhealthpark-aerialThe site for the project, located along the north side of Interstate 10, between Litchfield and Bullard Roads, is currently a flood control basin. Purchased for $233 from Maricopa County, the potential of the Health Park has drawn interest from the two hospitals that anchor the land.

The goal of the challenge is to demonstrate that businesses can help drive improvement in population health and lower health care costs. By collaborating with government, private organizations can develop new, creative, game-changing and economically sustainable ways to affect public health. GE believes better health is not only central to happiness, productivity and life expectancy, it is imperative for the vibrancy of communities, and the success of businesses in that community.

The Goodyear Community Health Park was chosen by a panel of judges in the field of population health for its ability to demonstrate potential to improve the health of all people in the community through an innovative and integrated public/private partnership. Members of the project team traveled to Ossining, New York earlier this month, courtesy of GE, to receive the honor and participate in a forum to further the project.

“With health, wellness and cancer prevention as focus areas of Cancer Treatment Centers of America, this park will provide yet another outlet for our patients, their caregivers and our employees to further focus on health and healing, and we are proud to partner with this team to bring it to the community,” said Alan Swain, area assistant vice president of general services at Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Western Regional Medical Center.

The long-term vision for the park includes a wide range of amenities designed to encourage people to be active, engage in community gatherings and learn ways to incorporate healthy choices and fitness into everyday life. A wellness trail, sports village, gardens, wellness and education centers and a family activity area are just some of the ideas being considered for the park.

CEO of Abrazo West Campus Stan Holm said of this partnership, “The coalition of a strong team of leaders anxious to implement actions that will positively impact the physical health of our community members through this wellness park development.” Adelante Healthcare president and CEO, Dr. Avein Saaty-Tafoya is “fully supportive of the strategic direction and vision for a community health park that will lead to improved quality of life and make an incredible impact changing patients’ lives for the better.”

The support extends beyond the healthcare community. “We enthusiastically support innovative opportunities which positively impact health and well-being,” said Clint Hickman, vice president of Hickman Family Farms. “The wellness park is a much needed amenity for our growing community to encourage healthy living.”

Along with training and mentorship by experts in the field of population health, the Goodyear Community Health Park will receive up to $25,000 of funding from GE to help implement a community population health program plan.

GE’s HealthyCities Leadership Challenge is a competition that challenges communities and private business to come together across sectors and work to accelerate the pace of change in healthcare and to improve overall health. The goal is to demonstrate ways to leverage the strengths of businesses and public entities in communities to more effectively develop and implement community health initiatives.

As one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, the City of Goodyear is poised to rapidly add to the current population of 77,776, which in turn will mean greater need for healthcare in the area.

The new Goodyear Community Health Park will also boost the city’s growing healthcare hub known as the Goodyear Medical Innovation Corridor that 2,500 acres and consist of nearly 200 medical related businesses.