Executive Director, LCHC
Working with a three-year CDC Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) grant, the Leadership Council for Healthy Communities (LCHC) is establishing standards of care that focus on prevention, improving access to health services, healthy stores, and recreational opportunities in the community, and linking community members at health risks to health providers.
Health disparity in D.C. emerges from inequalities in policy, clinical systems, and food and physical activity environments. And these disparities hit the neighborhoods of Wards 4, 5, 7 and 8 with high prevalence of poverty and lower education achievement with astonishingly higher rates of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. These wards are medically under served areas with insufficient primary care and specialist provider capacity; lack full-service hospitals and community clinics; lack healthy corner stores and grocery stores near public transportation or walking paths; and have a food service landscape dominated by fast/takeout restaurants with few healthy options. Healthy Ties brochure
The purpose of our program is to increase the opportunities for access to, and awareness of chronic disease prevention services and self-management programs through linkages among the existing health care resources and faith-based organizations.
To sustain educational messaging around health, nutrition and physical activity and encourage behavior change, the community members need avenues for application. The program will encourage food retail outlets to be places to ‘practice’ recommendations to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables and choose lower sodium options; neighborhoods and public spaces to be places to ‘practice’ getting 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week. Health clinics, hospitals, and pharmacies will serve as connection points with your healthcare team as well as support in ‘practicing’ self-management of your health profile. Additional efforts should be made to champion environmental changes and collaborations for community-wide healthy behavior change. We are working toward an organized method that provides constant reinforcement and reduces barriers to better health.
ABOUT THE COALITION
The Leadership Council for Healthy Communities has built an alliance of more than 70 faith leaders as well as health professionals throughout the Washington Metropolitan area over the past several years to address the high prevalence of HIV among African-Americans as well as other health problems. This healing community has a multiplier effect and reaches thousands of District residents from the pulpits, and through the health coordinators in places of worship with common and empowering messages on health. To affect successful behavior changes, trust is paramount and contributes to the successes of LCHC in addressing HIV awareness, prevention, and treatment, and enrolling the uninsured and under insured residents District residents into the D.C. Health Benefit Exchange.
Our partners for the Healthy Ties that Bind program:
Advocates for Better Children’s Diets
American Heart Association of Greater Washington Area
AmeriHealth Caritas District of Columbia (DC)
Black Nurses Association of Greater Washington
Capital Area Food Bank
DC Central Kitchen
DC Department of Nutrition and Physical Fitness
DC YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program
DC Health Care Finance Office
DC Healthy Communities Collaborative
Doctors on Call
Dr. Edwin Chapman
Howard University – College of Health Sciences
Howard University – School of Divinity
Howard University – College of Medicine
LCHC Health Ministry Network
Med-Chi Society (DC Affiliate of NMA)
MedStar Washington Hospital Center
National Institute of Health
NHLBI DC Cardiovascular Health and Obesity Collaborative
Unity Health Care
University of the District of Columbia, Center for Nutrition, Diet, and Health