Grand Rapids, Michigan — The Grand Rapids African American Institute of Health (GRAAHI) hosted the 20th Annualth Saturday’s Anniversary Rhythm Walk and Health Fair at Martin Luther King Park.
Community members joined city leaders, business owners, organizations, and the health system to address health disparities in the Grand Rapids community.
“It builds on all the other conditions that affect our communities and affect community health: housing, low-income populations, food, education, all of which are major contributors to health disparities. We want to raise awareness because there is, GRAAHI CEO Vanessa Greene told FOX 17 on Saturday.
Khan Nedd, one of GRAAHI’s founders, explained how COVID-19 has highlighted many of the issues GRAAHI has been working on over the past two decades.
“Over the years we have lagged behind in our achievements for various reasons, but I think the pandemic, in particular, which has been part of the last two years, has certainly brought some things to the fore. I see many partnerships and others broadly participating in this effort, trying to shine a spotlight on this issue, develop both strategies and policies, and consider how to ensure our community is engaged. A true participant in whatever that future holds,” added Ned.
There was more to Saturday’s event than just an enlightening walk.
More than 30 resource tables available from various locations, including Spectrum Health, Trinity Health St. Mary’s, Cherry Health, University of Michigan Health-West, Cure the Violence, Grand Rapids African American Nurses Association, and more, according to event organizers was.
“We have a Spectrum Health mammogram unit here. We have an immunization clinic, and blood pressure checks are done by students at Grand Valley State University and the African American Nurses Association of Grand Rapids, so in addition to a walk, we’re here.” We provide several clinic services to the community and we are very excited about the support today,” explained Green.
Organizers hope this annual event will have life-changing results, not just for community members, but for the healthcare system as a whole.
“We want to raise more awareness and get people involved. We also want the system to look at the work of the African-American community in Grand Rapids, look at the gaps and needs within the community, We want to give more. By providing resources and support, we can continue to expand our impact for improving health outcomes,” said Greene.
“They work on building a muscle memory for thinking about health, not just promoting health. , how they thrive and thrive.
GRAAHI also handed out free backpacks and school supplies at Saturday’s event.
For more information, Grand Rapids African American Health Institute, Click Here.
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