St. Louis County team attending walkability institute

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Public Health & Human Services Dept. • 320 West Second Street, Suite 605 • Duluth, MN 55802
Phone: (218) 726-2096 •

Linnea Mirsch





March 28, 2017

CONTACT: Josh Gorham, SHIP Coordinator


St. Louis County attending walkability institute

St. Louis County Public Health will be leading a six person team from Duluth to attend the National Association of Chronic Disease Director’s 2017 Walkability Action Institute. Fifteen percent of Duluthians walk, bike, or use transit to get to work on a regular basis. Thirteen percent of Duluth Households do not own a vehicle, with some Duluth neighborhoods in having upwards of 30 percent of households not owning a vehicle.


“This is a unique opportunity for our cross-sector team to plan and take action to improve the transportation system for those who rely on walking for transportation,” states Josh Gorham, Public Health Nurse with St. Louis County. “We will be working as a team to develop goals and actions that are responsive to the needs of Duluth residents, particularly those who are dependent or walking and/or public transit for transportation.”


Through a nationally competitive grant application process, the Duluth interdisciplinary team was one of 10 teams nationally selected to attend this year’s course. The Duluth team is represented by Joshua Gorham from St. Louis County Public Health, Elissa Hansen with the Duluth City Council, Shawna Mullen from the Zeitgeist Center for Arts and Community, John Kelley from the City of Duluth, James Gittemeier from the Duluth-Superior Metropolitan Interstate Council, and Russell Habermann from the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission.


At Large Councilmember Elissa Hansen is working on a few cultural, socioeconomic and transportation related policies and projects. Hansen said, “the City of Duluth is positioned to reinvent how we inspire change, connectivity, sense of place, and an innovative vision for transportation in our community. I am proud to be part of this dynamic team, increasing our ability to impact local policy.”


The Walkability Action Institute in Decatur, Ga., will take place April 3-6, 2017. Upon its return, the Duluth team will develop a plan of action with at least one action item to be implemented in the next year. All travel, lodging and food costs are covered by the NACDD grant awarded to the team. Current and future work lead by St. Louis County Public Health is supported by the Minnesota Department of Health’s and Healthy Northland’s Community Wellness Grant and Statewide Health Improvement Partnership.


For questions, contact St. Louis County Public Health Nurse Josh Gorham at 218-725-5220.