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TAKING CARE OF MIND AND BODY I N PA RT N E R S H I P W I T H

CITY OF DURHAM | COUNTY OF DURHAM | DUKE UNIVERSITY | DUKE UNIVERSITY HEALTH SYSTEM | DURHAM CAN | DURHAM PUBLIC SCHOOLS DURHAM CONGREGATIONS IN ACTION | GREATER DURHAM CHAMBER OF COMMERCE | INTERDENOMINATIONAL MINISTERIAL ALLIANCE LINCOLN COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER | PROJECT ACCESS OF DURHAM COUNTY | PARTNERSHIP FOR A HEALTHY DURHAM TRIANGLE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION | THE INSTITUTE

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eeping our bodies and minds healthy is a top concern for everyone in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many organizations and initiatives, like the ones below, are working to improve the health of people throughout our community. AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION When Mel Downey-Piper, vice president of health strategies at the American Heart Association, had the idea to hold heart-healthy cooking classes, she didn’t expect circumstances to change so quickly. The AHA held one inperson pilot class at Lakewood YMCA. Then the coronavirus hit, and it went virtual to make the program a reality. The AHA partnered with Durham Neighborhood Improvement Services to present the course, targeting people with high blood pressure and other health issues. Alexis John, community engagement strategist for the City of Durham, connected them with 10 families from the Oxford Manor neighborhood, and local chef Khadijah Anderson taught the virtual lessons. “Between Khadijah and me, one of us would order the groceries online each week for the recipe … and then we’d do no-contact porch deliveries,” Mel says. “We were able to offer a program where food-insecure families receive food, were able to cook together with their family, but also got to interact with Alexis and … some of their neighborhood,” she says. “It was neat to see the community [that was] built as well through the cooking classes.” Mel adds that the AHA and DNIS plan to offer between

F I N D A C O M P L E T E L I S T O F H E A LT H Y D U R H A M P A R T N E R S AT

three and six more cooking series this year. “A lot of participants talked to their own neighbors about it ... so it’s gotten [out via] word of mouth. People have really enjoyed it.” PARTNERSHIP FOR A HEALTHY DURHAM The first Healthy Mile Trails logo appeared on a Durham sidewalk in 2012. Since then, six neighborhoods and parks have added the trails: one-mile loops where community members can easily walk, jog or simply enjoy the outdoors. Mel, who worked for Partnership for a Healthy Durham at the time, was also involved in the creation of this project, which was inspired by a community health assessment that showed participants overwhelmingly would like to exercise in their own neighborhoods. But today, she says, the trails needed “a little bit of TLC.” The Partnership’s Obesity, Diabetes and Food Access Committee, alongside Durham Parks & Recreation, stepped in and are working to make the program stronger than ever. Annette Smith, program administrator at DPR, says they aim to partner with neighborhoods to keep the trails free of debris and the painted logos fresh. Their largest upcoming project is “to make the maps available on a digital platform so that residents can access the maps on their phone/tablet,” Annette says. “Due to COVID-19 … DPR has experienced a significant increase in park usage. Providing safe, accessible resources for residents can help them maintain their wellness, reduce stress and anxiety, and create social cohesion in their community.”

HEALTHYDURHAM2020.ORG/PARTNERS

 @HEALTHYDURHAM2020

Profile for Shannon Media

Durham Magazine Sept 2020  

The Food and Drink Issue

Durham Magazine Sept 2020  

The Food and Drink Issue

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