With a $7.5 million federal grant headed to Nashville, Mayor Karl Dean isn’t wasting any time getting ready to implement the city’s new healthy living initiatives.
Dean announced Wednesday that he has created a new position, funded through the stimulus grant, in his office to oversee implementation of the programs funded by the grant, which is being administered through the Department of Metro Public Health.
Toks Omishakin, currently the Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator for the Mayor’s Office, has been named Director of Healthy Living.
The programs include increasing opportunities to walk and bike in Nashville, and increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables in schools and targeted Nashville neighborhoods.
Omishakin’s new position as Director of Healthy Living is an expansion of his current responsibilities. Since January 2009, Omishakin has worked as the staff member for the Mayor’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, which was created to provide policy direction on making Nashville more bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly.
In addition to overseeing the implementation of the grant and continuing his work with BPAC, Omishakin will work with Vice Mayor Diane Neighbors on the Nashville Livability Project, which was launched last fall as an initiative to make Nashville a livable community for retiring Baby Boomers and people of all ages. The Livability Project includes a focus on health and wellness, and takes into account the overlap with recommendations from the Mayor’s Green Ribbon Committee and Healthy Nashville Leadership Council.