North Carolina AHEC Program
summer 2013 newsletter | home

Wake AHEC Partners with Initiative to Improve the Health of a Community

Voices into Action: The Families, Food, and Health Project is an initiative to learn about families’ attitudes and behaviors towards food, and partner with communities to improve access to healthy, affordable food and spaces for physical activity.

Currently, Voices into Action is partnering with Wake, Harnett and Lee Counties’ communities. This is a USDA-funded five-year project by NC State University, NC A&T State University, US Department of Agriculture, NC Cooperative Extension, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program and National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

The Wake County initiative, hosted by Martin Street Baptist Church, kicked off February 22 and 23, 2013 with a county asset mapping workshop focusing on Southeast Raleigh. Community members and local agencies and organizations were in attendance. The participants were a diverse group, including but not limited to, academia, law enforcement, health and human services organizations, small business owners and faith-based groups. Wake AHEC was represented by Toni Chatman, MHA, associate director of dentistry and allied health education and Sherika HiSmith George, MPH, CPHPP, associate director of nursing education.

The February asset mapping workshop resulted in the identification of four priority areas:

  1. Communication;
  2. Gardening;
  3. Education and Knowledge; and
  4. Community Organizing.  

These four areas are where changes can be made by families, organizations and communities to improve the overall health of Southeast Raleigh.

Wake AHEC will support the priority areas of Communication and Education and Knowledge. Chatman and HiSmith George look forward to partnering with community members and groups in minimizing barriers and maximizing resources in the Southeast Raleigh community.