Health Foundation president honored for promoting parks and recreation

Health Foundation president honored for promoting parks and recreation

Steven Marcus

Health Foundation of South Florida president and CEO Steven Marcus recently was selected to receive a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/National Recreation and Park Association Award for Health Equity by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA).

The award will be presented publicly during a special reception at the 2016 NRPA Annual Conference in St. Louis on Thursday, Oct. 6.

Each year, NRPA National Awards are presented to five individuals and five agencies across the U.S. to honor their efforts — both professional and personal — in the field of parks and recreation. Recipients are selected from a pool of applicants by NRPA’s National Awards and Scholarship Committee, and are chosen for excellence in a variety of topics, including professional and voluntary service, programming, leadership, research and public outreach.

The award recognizes efforts to promote health equity.

“I define healthy equity as reaching people where they are and giving them what they need to thrive and be well,” Marcus said. “This includes the social, economic and environmental conditions across our society’s population.”

Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces director Jack Kardys said, “Through his role as president and CEO of Health Foundation of South Florida, a nonprofit grant-making organization, Steven Marcus guides investments and initiatives to promote a culture for health equity, especially for our county’s most vulnerable residents.

“He and the foundation collaborated with the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department (PROS) to advance Complete Streets, age friendly parks, outdoor fitness equipment, safe routes to parks, safe routes to aging in place and established a health and community design element within the Miami-Dade County Comprehensive Development Master Plan,” Kardys added.

Complete Streets fosters active commuting by providing pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and public transportation users with safe and convenient access to transportation.

The Age-Friendly Initiative works to ensure the implementation of age-friendly modifications in policies and guidelines, such as: the Open Space Master Plan; Comprehensive Development Master Plan’s Community Health and Design; the Transportation, Land Use Elements; as well as the Long Range Transportation Plan. The policy modifications will shift the aging in place paradigm by enabling safe, attractive, and comfortable open space access and travel for commuters of all ages and abilities.

“NRPA is pleased to honor our nation’s park and recreation heroes — agencies and individuals who work tirelessly and with passion to improve the lives of their citizens and make their communities great,” said Barbara Tulipane, president and CEO of NRPA.

A full list of NRPA National Award winners is available at

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