Regional Innovation Award

The Regional Innovation Award recognizes organizations and alliances that are committed to building strong and vibrant communities through groundbreaking collaboration and program development. These organizations are pioneers within their region, focusing their efforts on the four principles of regional stewardship: an innovative economy, livable communities, social inclusion, and a collaborative style of governance.  

This year, the Regional Innovation Award committee is specifically encouraging applications from regional initiatives that are building a better equipped workforce—preparing the region to excel in a globally competitive economy through education attainment and workforce development initiatives.

Application opens March 1, 2017! Click here to learn how to apply!  

See below for last year's Finalists and Winners for their Health and Wellness initiatives!  

2016 Regional Innovation Award Finalists and Winners:

  • Thrive 2055, submitted by Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce
    Thrive 2055 launched as a strategic visioning initiative to engage the people of the Chattanooga region in creating an action plan to make the most of their economic opportunities while preserving what they love about their home communities. After an intensive public engagement process, four regional priorities were defined: economic development, education, transportation, and the protection of the region's natural treasures. Thrive 2055 determined that by keeping these priorities in balance the people of the region would always live healthy, fulfilled lives with access to the wealth of natural and cultural resources.
  • WINNER! Certified Blue Zones Project Community, submitted by Mason City Chamber of Commerce
    Mason City was named a certified Blue Zone Community (geographically defined area where people live measurably longer) following a rigorous certification process involving North Iowa area employers, schools, and citizens. The project, which takes an environmental approach to improve total wellbeing, focuses on optimizing settings where community members spend the most time to encourage healthy behavior. One such focus on worksites led to a 15 percent improvement in worker well-being as measured by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index (WBI).
  • The Chamber Health Competitiveness Initiative, submitted by Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce
    The Nashville Chamber spearheaded a partnership to commission a study to assess healthcare cost, quality, and access in the Nashville region. The initiative is the first of its kind and draws together insurers, providers and nonprofits to focus on the comparative health status of the region. The study created a groundbreaking opportunity to understand the economic costs of health to the region and businesses, and has led to pilot strategies to engage employers in health assessments with a specific focus on worker productivity gains.
  • WINNER! Health Care Initiative & Blood Pressure Collaborative, submitted by Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce
    Greater Rochester Chamber launched its Healthcare Initiative in 2006, and it has grown into a regional collaboration between employers, health systems, and insurers promoting worksite wellness, a regional health information exchange, and implementation of Lean Six Sigma practices in area hospitals. The chamber is also a partner in the regional blood pressure collaborative, which created the nation's first community high blood pressure registry, and has kept the county BP control rate at 40 percent better than the national average.


Past Winners:


Contact for more information on the Regional Innovation Award. 

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