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What's New in REACH?
Shared Use
Community Fellow and Strategy Coordinator Erika Hood
Community Fellow and Strategy Coordinator Erika Hood, M.Ed, was named a National Shared Use Ambassador by the Safe Routes to School National Partnership. As part of this honor, she co-presented a national webinar on best practices in shared use policies, highlighting her success in reaching out to the community and putting new shared use policies into practice. The July 20 webinar is available to stream online via the Safe Routes to School website.

The Shared Use team continues to expand the initiative while nurturing existing relationships. On July 26 at Philomena Community Baptist Church, the team led "I Signed a Policy, Now What?," a workshop specifically designed for REACH Shared Use policyholders. Prior to the workshop, the team sent out a survey asking policyholders to share what they know about shared use, how engaged they are in shared use, barriers to implementation, and successes. The survey results led the creation of an agenda shared some of their lessons learned along with addressing barriers that they listed. The workshop also featured presentations from the Safe Routes to School National Partnership (Kate Moening, who also facilitated), ASIA Inc (Ashley Choi), and IOBY (Indigo Bishop).

Healthy Retail Initiative
REACH Ambassador and Community Health Worker Delores Collins conducts a health screening at C-Town Food and Deli.
Intern Jesse Alger, REACH Strategy Coordinator Kakul Joshi, and REACH Community Health Ambassador Hank Smith

Community Health Engagement Coordinator Briana McIntosh talks with a resident. 

The Healthy Food Retail Initiative spent July 21 at C-Town Food and Deli, offering samples of nutritious snacks, free health screenings, giveaways, information about healthy eating. C-Town Food and Deli is one of HIP-Cuyahoga’s Good Food Here participating stores.

This outreach event was a collaborative effort to increase awareness around hidden salt and the consequences of high sodium on health. The store promoted the sale of fresh fruit cups, fresh frozen vegetables, and canned fruit in 100% juice. Through REACH's collaboration with the Community Health Worker program at Cleveland State University, attendees were able to take advantage of free health screening services such as blood pressure and blood sugar testing. The food demonstration component of the program was spearheaded by PRCHN summer interns Jesse Alger and Katherine Best, who discussed low sodium food preparation. Alger is a junior majoring in Human Nutrition, while Best is a second-year graduate student in Nutrition. They used low sodium taco seasoning, canned beans, low-sodium taco shells, frozen corn, and lemon from the store to make a healthy taco salad. Other education components including reading labels to decipher sodium content and knowing recommended sodium recommendation levels.

In the Community
The REACH team and HIP-Cuyahoga are working to expand their relationship with the Community Health Worker (CHW) community, in particular the CHW program at Cleveland State University. Community Health Workers go out into the community to offer services such as general nutrition and counseling, mental health referrals, and blood sugar and blood pressure testing. As a frontline public health worker, CHWs typically have a close understanding of the community served. This trusting relationship allows the worker to serve as a clinc-community liaison to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery.

REACH Community Health Ambassador Delores Collins, a Community Health Worker herself, is helping to coordinate clinical hours for graduates of the Cleveland State CHW program. Thanks to her efforts and those of the REACH team, CHW graduates are now offering free health screenings every Saturday at the Coit Road Farmers' Market as well as at the St. Clair Superior farmers' market on September 9 and 30, and at community events throughout Cleveland's east side.

Most recently, the REACH team took part in the Family Unity at the Park Day at Luke Easter Park on July 29. The REACH team was out in full force for the Annual Family Unity Day Festival on July 29 at Luke Easter Park. The festival included the largest health fair in Northeast Ohio. The Cleveland Clinic offered free screening services for blood pressure, diabetes, and other conditions. The City of Cleveland's Mobile Health Unit also conducted healthcare screenings. HIP-Cuyahoga held a Zumba demonstration and information on easy ways to stay healthy.

WZAK's DJ Haz Matt interviewed Ms. Collins, who shared information about the Chronic Disease Self Management Program, finding hidden salt in food to help control blood pressure, the Healthy Retail Initiative, and ways for listeners to get involved. Other video includes an introduction to HIP-Cuyahoga and Zumba class.

According to Community Fellow and Strategy Coordinator Erika Hood, "The community loved our healthy trail-mix and took surveys asking about active living opportunities in their community. It was a very engaging event."

The REACH team and HIP-Cuyahoga also offered health screenings, information, and some of the popular healthy trail mix at the Salvation Army's first annual block party in East Cleveland on July 15, which attracted more than 500 people, and CiCLEvia Central on July 16. The latter event blocked off more than a mile of Community College and Quincy Avenues automobile traffic so that people could participate in non-car activities like zumba, walking, dancing, and bicycling. At both events, the REACH team and HIP-Cuyahoga helped spread the word from our growing group of partners and community residents about good food here stores, shared use sites, how to become a community health champion, where to get produce from a farmers’ market, and how to get involved.
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