PROVIDENCE – Mayor Angel Taveras signed an executive order establishing the Healthy Communities Office to improve the health and wellness of Providence residents, the city announced Wednesday.
The office will promote physical activity and recreation, prevent substance abuse among the city’s young people and improve nutrition in city residents by increasing access to healthy foods, among other efforts.
The Health Communities Office will assume the responsibilities of the Mayor’s Substance Abuse Prevention Council and will be staffed by existing employees.
“This office will expand the scope of the Mayor’s Substance Abuse Prevention Council. It will also broaden our attention on a wider array of issues threatening the health and wellness of our city’s residents, including chronic disease, obesity, addiction and tobacco use,” Taveras said in prepared remarks.
“Healthy cities are strong cities. The Healthy Communities Office will make Providence a healthier and a stronger city,” added the mayor.
Peter Asen, director of the Mayor’s Substance Abuse Prevention Council, will lead the office.
“I applaud Mayor Taveras’s leadership and vision to make healthy living a priority for Providence,” said Asen, adding that the office would “better position Providence to compete for additional state and federal funding and grants from charitable trusts and foundations focused on the important work of creating healthier outcomes for more people.”