On Saturday, September 19 over 300 Boston residents, along with Congressman Michael Capuano, Boston Chief of Health and Human Services Felix Arroyo, City Councilor Tito Jackson and BPHC's Interim Executive Director Dr. Huy Nguyen, celebrated the early success of Let's Get Healthy, Boston! with a healthy and fun event at the Roxbury YMCA. Let's Get Healthy, Boston! is a partnership between BPHC, the Boston Alliance for Community Health, city agencies, community organizations and 75 Healthy Community Champions. The Champions are residents serving as ambassadors and educators in 12 neighborhoods working to support the work of Let's Get Healthy, Boston!, which aims to make it easier for all Bostonians to access regular physical activity; purchase healthy, affordable food and beverages; and live in smoke-free housing.
The event provided a space for partners, organizations, neighborhood residents and Champions to network, have fun and reflect on the great work happening in Boston to support healthier opportunities for all Bostonians. Congressman Capuano talked about his support for this initiative and the significance of federal funding to improving the health of local communities. Chief Arroyo emphasized that addressing health disparities is a priority of Mayor Walsh and projects like this one support that aim. Dr. Nguyen talked about the importance of addressing policy and systems changes to make an impact on the health of Boston's residents, and thanked the Champions for their work. Two of our Healthy Community Champions, Esther Medina and Vivian Ortiz reflected on the importance of the work of Let's Get Healthy, Boston! to their neighborhoods.
The event featured mini-villages for attendees to learn about Let's Get Healthy, Boston! initiatives. Highlights included:
- Smoke-Free Homes Village: Participants received resources on the health benefits of going smoke-free and shared why they want to live in smoke-free homes.
- Healthy Food and Beverage Village: Residents had the opportunity to shop the Fresh Truck mobile farmers market and take home Collard Greens donated by The Food Project. Residents also sampled "water mocktails" and learned how to dress up our delicious Boston tap water with fresh fruit for a low-cost and low-calorie treat.
- Active Transportation Village: Participants learned tips for safe walking and biking, and children had a chance to practice their safe bicycling skills with the Bowdoin Bike School. Kids also became traffic savvy with the Boston Public School's Health and Wellness Departments Safe Routes to School activities. The Boston Cyclists Union was on hand to train residents on how to repair their bikes and BPHC's Injury Prevention Program fit and gave away 70 bike helmets.
The Fresh Good Generation's Food Truck served lunch and the Massachusetts' Water Resource Authority kept us hydrated with fresh and clean Boston tap water. The Public Health Commission would like to thank all of our partners, volunteers, guests and Healthy Community Champions for making this event possible and for enjoying the day with us. Please visit our Facebook page for more event pictures!
Stay connected: follow @HealthyBoston and #LetsGetHealthyBoston on Twitter, follow @healthyboston on Instagram and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealthyBoston.
Let's Get Healthy, Boston! is a partnership of the Boston Public Health Commission and the Boston Alliance for Community Health to make it easier for residents to make healthy choices in physical activity, nutrition and smoke-free housing, by implementing policy, systems and environmental changes throughout the city. This three-year initiative is funded by the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s Partnerships to Improve Community Health grant, and is working to reduce the prevalence of obesity, tobacco use and exposure, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes in the City of Boston.