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City of Savannah Public Communications

Posted on: October 7, 2020

Alderman Nick Palumbo invited to Active People, Healthy Nation Champions Institute

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Alderman Nick Palumbo invited to Active People, Healthy NationSM Champions Institute  

SAVANNAH (Oct. 7) - Alderman Nick Palumbo will be part of the inaugural class of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Active People, Healthy Nation℠ Champions Institute (Champions Institute). Smart Growth America (SGA) and the CDC Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity announced Palumbo's selection on Wednesday. 

The Champions Institute is a program created to help motivated local elected officials equitably define, design, build and evaluate complete streets in their communities. Alderman Palumbo is one of about 20 local elected officials chosen from across the United States and its territories.

"Being selected to the inaugural class of the Champions Institute [recognizes] Nick Palumbo's commitment to making [his] hometown a more equitable, accessible and viable community for all residents," said John Robert Smith, senior policy advisor at Smart Growth America and the former mayor of Meridian, Miss. "Nick will learn valuable skills throughout the program and share insights on developing more activity-friendly routes to everyday destinations."

Over the next six months, Palumbo and other Champions Institute participants will attend virtual learning sessions to make them experts in equity-based principles. They will also train the class on the fundamental steps to achieve activity-friendly routes to everyday destinations in their community, from envisioning to implementation. Participants will also learn about best practices and challenges from across the country as they grapple with different strategies in a collaborative and supportive peer-learning environment.

"Alderman Palumbo has always been a strong supporter of complete streets in the Greater Savannah area, and I'm excited to see his skills and insight grow as part of the Smart Growth America Champions Institute," said Caila Brown, executive director of Bike/Walk Savannah. "By learning from and with other participants from around the country, along with national experts, Savannah will be able to go far in strengthening important changes to our complete streets policy and projects and working on equitable long-term planning. We're thrilled with Nick's appointment to the Champions Institute, and Smart Growth America's recognition of the City of Savannah's efforts thus far."

Palumbo will have the opportunity to learn from a broad array of national experts and former local elected officials in the areas of public health, policy, street design and project implementation. Once completed, Palumbo and the other participants will be experts in promoting community improvements to create safer streets for all users, including pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders and drivers. They will be prepared to support plans, policies and funding that promote the CDC's Active People, Healthy Nation℠ initiative. SGA will provide continuing support.

"It's fitting that Nick has been accepted into the Champions Institute as he has truly been a champion for complete streets, both as a private citizen and as an elected official," said John Bennett, safety programs manager of Georgia Bikes. "As a member of the city council, he has remained committed to making Savannah's streets safe for people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities. Savannahians will surely benefit as he continues to expand his expertise through the Institute."

Palumbo and other Champions Institute participants will act as delegates to other local leaders, sharing their expertise and ideas to grow a network of Active People, Healthy Nation℠ Champions across the country.

This program is funded through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Nutrition, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity. This program is designed to support the Active People, Healthy Nation initiative through developing more activity-friendly routes to everyday destinations.

active people, healthy nation

Smart Growth America envisions a country where no matter where you live, or who you are, you can enjoy living in a place that is healthy, prosperous, and resilient. We empower communities through technical assistance, advocacy, and thought leadership to realize our vision of livable places, healthy people, and shared prosperity. For more information visit

Active People, Healthy Nation Initiative is a national initiative led by CDC to help 27 million Americans become more physically active by 2027. Active People, Healthy Nation℠ provides a comprehensive approach to improving physical activity by promoting strategies that work at the local, tribal, state, and national level in partnership with other federal agencies and national organizations. For more information and to join the movement, visit

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity protects the health of Americans at every stage of life by encouraging regular physical activity, good nutrition, and healthy weight. Through support of state and community partners, they provide data, programs that work, and practical tools so that Americans have the best possible chance to achieve healthier lives and avoid chronic diseases.


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