On Friday, August 17, 2018, GO Healthy West Piedmont hosted a luncheon at the New College Institute to celebrate the success of the grant initiative that wraps up in September. A variety of partners which included the faith community, municipal partners, project partners and organization partners were present at the luncheon. The speakers included Nancy Bell, Population Health Manager for West Piedmont Health District; Barb Watson, Healthy Communities Coordinator for Go Healthy; Bill Jacobsen, CEO for Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital; and Dr. Kerry Gateley, Director of West Piedmont Health District.
GO Healthy West Piedmont is the result of an investment of nearly $1.7 million by Virginia Department of Health via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This four-year grant initiative was designed to prevent obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. As residents of Martinsville-Henry County, Franklin and Patrick Counties consume more fresh, nutritious foods, engage in increased physical activity, and participate in lifestyle change programs, the expected outcome of this initiative are reduced rates of obesity and diabetes.
Over the past four years, Go Healthy has tracked statistics that involve prediabetes, hypertension and preventable death/interventions. 150, 648 minutes were walked by community walking clubs and a total of 475 pounds were lost by lifestyle program participants. There were 1,500 individuals screened for hypertension through community-wide screenings and 949 participants were screened with a reading of or below 140/90. 27, 515 pounds of produce were raised by Giving Gardens and donated to food pantries and soup kitchens.
As the grant wraps up, the collaborating partners would like to remind the communities to Get Ready, Get Set, Go Healthy! Some of the plans for the Go Healthy initiative to be sustained include providing treadmills and basketball goals to area churches and the Spruce Village apartments; expanding the West Piedmont Health District by adding a Population Health Community Coordinator; 3 Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) networks, comprised of 12 DPP Lifestyle Coaches in MHC, 7 in Patrick and 6 in Franklin Counties; an expansion of the All Trails app to include area trails and 1-mile “urban” loops, ongoing community gardening efforts providing produce to food pantries. For more information on Go Healthy West Piedmont, click here.