Friday, November 12, 2010

Heartland Health Network (HHN) Event Update

A Community Health Fair which drew over 1000 people to the campus of the Calvary Temple Baptist Church on Saturday, October 30th for fitness, fun, and healthy food was the “kick-off” event for the Heartland Health Network (HHN). In lieu of typical unhealthy carnival fare, healthy food options such as fresh fruits & veggies, yogurt with fresh berries were provided. Chancellor Leo Morton, Dean Karen Vorst, Senator Clair McCaskill and Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver were on hand to offer words of welcome, congratulations and support. Fitness expert Donna Richardson Joyner
spoke to the group about the benefits of fitness and nutrition and enticed the group to participate in a well choreographed exercise routine. Over 15 community health serving organizations distributed vital health information and conducted health screening.

HHN is funded by a 1 million dollar NIH grant awarded to Professor Kathy Goggin in the Department of Psychology (see blog posting dated Tuesday, October 26, 2010). Organizers from HHN specifically hoped to reach African American community with their message of healthy lifestyles and demonstrate the power of collaborations between universities and community partners. Based on comments of attendees, it seems like that goal was achieved.

“The day was a perfect blend of celebration and cooperation among partners working toward a common goal. For too long, the African American community has experienced significant health disparities. Now, at the community level, we are bringing together current health research, health care and health education.” ~ Dr. Leo Morton, Chancellor, University of Missouri – Kansas City

“The sea of people of all ages, eating fresh fruit and having fun with physical activity was confirmation of something that we have known all along. Our vision of a healthier community can be realized as we forge strong partnerships between gatekeepers and stakeholders.”
~ Rev. Eric D. Williams, Pastor- Calvary Temple Baptist Church & Executive Director – Calvary Community Outreach Network