Caldwell Mayor Garret Nancolas is a longtime participant in the Mayor’s Walking Challenge. Caldwell City Council matches the funds that he earns during the annual event to help fund projects and programs that encourage youth to be active.


The Mayor’s Walking Challenge is one way for Idaho mayors to partner with the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health


Courtney Frost is a senior program officer for the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health.

The Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health is focused on building a healthier Idaho. This is something we can’t do alone — we need partners who also want to make our state a healthier place. There are a lot of factors outside of healthcare that impact health, which reinforces the strong need for community partners to work together to create a healthy community.

These other factors that influence health (see picture below) can have significant influence over health outcomes. Addressing these factors requires partners who can make things happen. That’s why the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health likes working with local elected officials. They can be role models for local youth and understand the unique needs of their communities. Elected officials also play a part in creating policy changes and have support of their local constituents.


The Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health has worked with Idaho mayors for years. We offer the Mayor’s Walking Challenge each year to promote the importance of being physically active. Mayors who walk 5,000 or 10,000 steps a day in October earn funds for their community. Those funds have provided playground equipment, program support or been accumulated to create a larger project such as a walking path. We’re proud that since we’ve taken the Mayor’s Walking Challenge statewide in 2018 that we’ve been able to give back more than $200,000 to Idaho communities.

We’ve gotten to know many Idaho mayors and learn about their communities through the challenge. The event gives us the opportunity to meet and get to know these important city leaders. We learn so much from our honest conversations about the health of their communities or their built environment. Here’s why mayors make great partners:

• Mayors know their communities inside and out

• Mayors are role models for kids in their city

• Mayors have great relationships with all sectors in their community

• Mayors truly know the strengths and struggles of their community

We like to connect with mayors and other elected officials who are serious about improving the health of their communities. Registering for the Mayor’s Walking Challenge is a great first step to building a relationship with the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health.

Municipalities, mayors, community leaders, city staffs and elected officials oversee and impact the development of Idaho’s built environments, which greatly impact health. We value our partnerships with you and look forward to developing more meaningful relationships as we build a healthier Idaho.