Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Not Another Health Workshop!

I have never attended so many free health fairs, workshops, and seminars until I started living in Anacostia. Do these fairs make community leaders feel good?

 Do they demonstrate to funders that we actually did something with the money? But really, do they make a difference in the lives of people who they are intended to serve?

Usually after a health event, people go home, throw away the pamphlets and get back to their regularly scheduled programming- tv, fast food and some other detrimental health behavior (smoking, unsafe sex, alcohol abuse etc...)

If we want to improve access to health and the quality of life for residents, then slogans, fairs, brochures and workshops will not cut it. In the words of United Health Group's Reed Tuckson:

"We can't continue to try to fight the serious health challenges that are confronting this nation, and in this case, African-American community, with pamphlets and sloganeering. We've got to go deeper than that."

It's time to ramp up the outreach and look at an integrated approach that will nudge people along to make better personal choices. Instead of spending money on guest speakers and printing pamphlets, lets create a behavioral incentive program that gives residents a chance to get literally invested in health. Instead of food demonstrations, let's bring in business representatives willing to take a chance on selling healthy food in the hood.

In the meantime, here is another Healthy Eating Workshop in Anacostia sponsored by the NAACP Health Committee.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Healthy Eating Nutrition Workshop
2100 MLK Jr. Avenue SE
3rd Floor Conference Room
Washington DC 20020

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