Healthy Lubbock received the award, in part, for their efforts to increase physical activity in the community.
The Texas Council on Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) and Stroke, in conjunction with the CVD & Stroke Program of the Texas Department of State Health Services, will present Healthy Lubbock with the Department of State Health Services 2013 Cardiovascular Health Promotions Award.
According to the Texas Council on CVD and Stroke, CVD and stroke are leading causes of death in Texas. Increases in the rates of physical inactivity, poor dietary choices, diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity, as well as the continued high prevalence of hypertension and the use of tobacco, contribute to CVD and stroke each year.
This award is designed to recognize outstanding cardiovascular health promotion programs in Texas, especially those using evidence-based practices. The Healthy Lubbock Initiative, a program of the Garrison Institute on Aging, received this award based on work in three areas focused on cardiovascular health: increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables; increasing physical activity; and increasing knowledge necessary to make healthier choices.
“Community-based programs like Healthy Lubbock are often the first line of defense for reducing risk factors of CVD,” said Annette Boles, director of programs at the Garrison Institute on Aging. “Our goal is to educate and provide resources to the people in our communities to help them stay or get healthy.”
To increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables, Healthy Lubbock established a Farm-to-Work program at TTUHSC. Employees can purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from a local farmer every other Friday on main campus, and every first Thursday at the Southwest campus during the summer and fall. Additionally, Healthy Lubbock partnered with the Guadalupe Neighborhood Association to establish a community garden.
To increase healthier choices through education, Healthy Lubbock partnered with the City of Lubbock Parks and Recreation department to label menus at city owned recreational complexes with the Go, Slow, Whoa Foods indicator. Additionally, Healthy Lubbock publishes the Healthy Lubbock Dining Guide in collaboration with the Lubbock Coalition for Better Nutrition that provides healthy tips, as well as restaurants that offer healthier options.
To increase access to and participation in physical activity, Healthy Lubbock partnered with the City of Lubbock Parks and Recreation to establish walking trails in the Lubbock Youth Sports Complex and four city parks. Healthy Lubbock also continues to increase physical activity by hosting GET FiT Lubbock annually. To date, Healthy Lubbock has helped Lubbock and the surrounding communities exercise a total of 99,721 hours and shed 12,329 pounds.