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Healthy Communities Awards and Scholarships

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Cities and towns planning to make a difference for health.

The Healthy Communities Awards recognize local jurisdictions that make special efforts to influence the health of their communities. The Healthy Communities Award Ceremony takes place each year at the Pierce County Regional Council General Assembly.

2018 Awards.

The 2018 award recognized local jurisdictions which promote social, economic and environmental benefits for their communities by either: 

  • Implementing policies/actions from their adopted comprehensive plan updates.
  • Undertaking a project initiated by City Council.


  • Fife Brookeville Garden Park.
  • Lakewood Downtown Subarea Plan.
  • Pierce County Foothills Trail—South Prairie to Buckley.
  • Sumner Parks and Trails Plan.
  • Tacoma Livable City Year.
  • University Place Regional Growth Center Plan.


  • Tacoma East Side Community Center.

2017 Awards.

The 2017 award recognized local jurisdictions with the sincere intent and committed steps to promote healthy communities or health equity by either: 
  • Implementing policies/actions from their adopted comprehensive plan updates.
  • Undertaking a project in response to a council initiative.


  • Fircrest Emerson Sidewalk Project.
  • Puyallup Active Transportation Plan.
  • Lakewood Springbrook Park.
  • Lakewood Rental Housing Safety Program.


  • Fife Benthien Loop Water Main Project.
  • Tacoma Mall Subarea Plan.


  • Steilacoom Farmers' Market—EBT Outreach.

2016 Awards.

Thirteen cities and towns put into practice solid comprehensive plan policies to influence the social, economic and environmental root causes of health:

  • Platinum Award—Auburn, Bonney Lake, Buckley, Fife, Gig Harbor, Puyallup, Ruston, Steilacoom, Sumner and Tacoma.
  • Gold Award—Fircrest, Roy and University Place

Learning opportunities for planners.

We offer scholarships for planners to attend the American Public Health Association Annual Meetings. This is a great way to learn about public health as it relates to planning. Requirements may vary year to year. So might the number of scholarships awarded, depending on program budget.

Upon return, awardees present what they learned to:

  • Their own jurisdictions.
  • Board of Health.
  • Growth Management Coordinating Committee.
  • Pierce County Regional Council.

Scholarship Awardees


  • Courtney Brunell, Planning Manager, City of Lakewood.

2017 Annual Meeting

  • Eric Mendenhall, Senior Planner, City of Sumner.

2016 Annual Meeting—Creating the Healthiest Nation: Ensuring the Right to Health

  • Kathy Thompson, City Planner, City of Buckley.
  • Lindsey Sehmel, Senior Planner, City of Gig Harbor.
  • Tony Vasquez, Planner, City of Tacoma.


Contact Amy Pow, Principal Planner, at or (253) 576-6222.