Giveaway: What’s Your Big Health Idea?

Share your ideas for how to make Philly a healthier city, and you could win tickets to our first ever ThinkFest on November 30th and December 1st!

There’s lots to love about Philadelphia—Fairmount Park and the Schuylkill River Trail, our world-class museums and vibrant dining scene. But just like any other city, there’s always room for improvement.

This week on Be Well Philly, we want to hear your big ideas for how to make the Philadelphia region a happier, healthier place to live. Maybe you have an idea for how to get kids to eat healthier foods, or a way to curb our city’s (icky) smoking habit. Maybe you know of a great health or fitness initiative in another city that Philly should adopt. The sky’s the limit here, so think outside the box—think big.

Here’s the best part: By leaving a comment on this post with your big idea, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a pair of tickets to Philadelphia magazine’s upcoming ThinkFest, a two-day gathering of Philly’s best and brightest minds—the people who are working hard to make a huge impact in our city—on November 30th and December 1st. You’ll get a chance to hear from innovators involved in city planning, the food industry and, of course, healthcare. Check out the full lineup of speakers here.

You have until 5 p.m. next Monday, November 19th, to submit your big idea—just leave a comment below. One idea (and one comment) counts as one entry, and you can submit as many ideas as you’d like. On Tuesday morning, we’ll select two winners at random and contact them via email; the winners will each get a pair of tickets to the big event.

Got it? Good. Now, start sounding off, Be Wellers—we’re dying to hear what you’ve got.

  • Colin

    This sounds like a really cool event

  • Jeff Wild

    I think a major factor of our cities poor health is a lack of understanding at the community level. Each neighborhood is very different demographically and culturally. By creating a group to hold meetings in each neighborhood and learn about their greatest health concerns we can create teams and implement annual campaigns at the community level. Meetings can be held on a bi-annual basis (start of winter & summer) to understand the needs during the changing seasons. Smaller meetings can be lead by the assigned community leader on a more frequent basis.

  • Jeff Wild

    I think a major factor in our cities poor health, is a lack of understanding at the community level. Each neighborhood is very different demographically and culturally, often separated by a block or two. Creating a team to hold meetings within each community to learn about their health concerns and access concerns will allow the city to effectively manage each community. Creating leaders at the community level allows the entire neighborhood to feel engaged and pro-active in helping to create a better quality of life. Meetings could be held bi-annually (start of winter and summer) to understand the changing needs with the season. Smaller community level meetings can be held more frequently and run by the appointed community team or leader. This will help with understanding financial constraints, community constraints and cultural constraints and allow effective movement at the community level.

  • R Fabien

    Instead of flowers in reception areas, Phila offices should have bowls of apples. One a day. It’s a good thing.

  • Rick

    Nutrition for youngsters in our school system and parenting. It should be the number one health concern at all levels of the socio-economic spectrum in the Phila area. They must understand that it is imperative that they eat right most of the time. The types and portions of food are important to their development mentally as well as physically. Bigger meals or lots of snacks does mean you are eating right. Just because the soda industry now makes 24 ounce bottles it does mean 8 ounces or less is not still a serving size. The same with the fast food industry. Double or triple burgers is not good or healthy. Adult onset diabetesin our youth is at an epidemic level in the Phila area. Please help our youth eat correctly throughout their developmental years and beyond.

  • https://www.facebook.com/CBUHP Nora

    Jeff – this is probably the most important first step that needs to be taken. Without it, there’s too big a chance that any work done won’t make actually make a difference. Hope the message gets through!

  • Jen Antonio-Lim

    Flash Mob Push Ups

  • E

    Pop-up produce shops in less fortunate neighborhoods where residents can pick up a carton full of free produce by bringing a bag full of trash (not their own!) The idea is to get people to get out and clean up the city that they live in AND promote healthy eating. This city could be so much more beautiful if it wasn’t covered with so much trash.

  • Alexis Rivera

    I think attacking access to quality food is essential. There are many ways to accomplish this and some of the ways to do this also promote local small businesses in our regions. For instance, investing in a farm co-op will give you fresh organic fruits/vegetables and in some places (see urban organics in North Jersey/New York), they’ll even deliver to you. There should also be programs that not only educated people on less common fruits/vegetables that are readily available, but also on how best to prepare them. Lastly, teaching our youth how to create urban gardens within their own schools (since most philly schools have enough outdoor property to do this) will not only teach them about quality food but also make this food available to their families (big plus in lower income neighborhoods). Eliminating food deserts should be a priority.

    • Alexis Rivera

      first sentence should read “attacking the lact of access to quality food”

  • Lindsay Kenney

    I keep telling myself that I need to get a bike to make my commute around the city much easier. But the reason I am hesitant to get a bike is most simply, I have no place to store it. On a recent trip to Washington DC, I noticed that instead of parking spaces for carshares or zipcars, they had large heavy bike racks so that people could take part in bikeshare. Take a bike from the rack if you need it, and all you have to do is secure it to another rack at some other location in the city and viola! Bikeshare, or, Philly Bikeshare.

  • Jessica D

    I think making health fun is the key to getting many groups of people to participate and be excited. It would be great to have a Philadelphia Health and Fitness fair. Having different vendors that give samples of healthy food, etc…conducting a day of free classes around the city, and holding panels of health professionals. This could be accessible to many groups of people and it could be fun! Contests could be held for children to get them involved and excited as well.

  • Mackie

    I would love to attend ThinkFest! It’s quite the collection of innovators! Just to be able to listen and learn from some of the most visionary individuals in the area would be so educational! I think it was a really great idea to come up with the entire concept.

  • Alison King

    Fitness Speed Dating! Sort of like the Be Well Philly event with all different types of workouts, but maybe 10-15 minutes with each fitness program so that you can get a taste of everything but still get to try a bunch of different workouts. The presenters should give discounts for their classes as well as an incentive!

  • Samantha Pearson

    I think a large component that is missing from Philadelphia is agriculture itself. I came from a small town where many of us were taught the basics of how to grow our own food in elementary school. While I know that Philadelphia is an urban environment, there have been many innovations in agriculture that allow people to grow their own herbs in studio apartments and vegetables in limited backyards. I have also seen some schools start their own community gardens for those who are interested. Not only is learning to grow your own food a great way to save money for lower-income families, it also teaches the foundations of health and wellness to children at a young age.

  • http://www.vynamic.com Matt O’Dell

    Philly needs a symbol of its commitment to a healthy future as well as a symbol of the individual and collective responsibility needed for a healthy society. 30 stationary bicycles would be hooked into an electrical grid in Love Park. Curious citizens would ride the bikes, powering the lights in the fountain, and the lights would change colors based on how fast and how many people are peddling on the bikes. The city could further increase awareness of health & fitness by entering the city into the Guinness Book of World Records by aiming for a record for “longest continuously lit public fountain by human power.” It’ll become a matter of civic pride to keep the fountain illuminated. In addition, it’s interactive and fun.

  • Yesle

    I love school-based efforts because kids can pick up healthy habits early in life, and the entire family can be involved. Something like monthly walking mileage challenges for students with healthy motivational prizes would be fun.

  • Josephine Nardi

    There are baseball fields, football fields, basketball courts, tracks, etc…Mostly geared toward the youth of the city. Why can’t there be a place for seniors to excercise outdoors as opposed to having to join a gym or going to indoor senior centers? There used to be a track where a lot of my friends and neighbors would gather and either run or walk, But not available to the people in the neighborhood anymore, because it is now used for public school activities. I do pay taxes and I would like to have the opportunity to use it after work.

  • http://www.fusioncrosstraining.com Gavin McKay

    Moms/Dads in school kitchens. Poor nutrition and lack of respect and understanding for food, cooking and being healthy is endemic and needs to start young. in addition, years ago the schools sold there soul to big cheap private caterers like Aramark who have no fattened up our kids so they fall asleep in class, etc. Lets kick the big companies out of our schools like we did soda and offer real cooking jobs to local parents in need of work, create standards of health , invest a bit more money for real food and create a center for nutrition and cooking in each school. Food is spiritual for some people so if you find the right community people they will make it all happen and enjoy the interaction with the kids, teaching them what is in each meal and making each meal different and healthy. Lets cook for our kids again!

  • Chris Weber

    I feel that there should be a mandate for all small corner stores that carry sugary drinks, processed snack foods, cigarettes, etc to also carry a certain percentage of fresh whole foods. As these corner stores are often a place where individuals in lower-income communities shop, I feel that bringing fresh fruits, vegetables, and other whole foods can help to eliminate the food deserts within Philadelphia.

  • Ken S.

    If Philadelphia is the “City of Brotherly Love”, why don’t we have a promotion to make everyone smile at each other and greet each other in a friendly manner without thinking something strange. We could be the happiest and friendliest city in the Mid-Atlantic and North East. Everyone would want to visit our city and possibly move here or work here!!!

  • Emily Leaman

    And that’s it, folks! We’ll contact the winners on Tuesday, November 20th via email. Thanks for the great ideas!