Monday, October 12, 2009

Central Harlem Health Revival Wants Us to Take Charge of Our Health

Yes, there is a great life beyond mac & cheese. There’s a life without fried chicken and white rice. There’s a life full of vigor, vibrancy and expectancy in each moment when exercise, tasty, good nutrition and rest reign. The Central Harlem Health Revival (CHHR) is on a mission to show Harlem residents the path of health and well being. Central Harlem Health Revival claims victory over obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma and heart disease—all of which are preventable diseases.

On September 27, 2009 the fourth annual Health Revival Week kicks off with the Health Walk which starts at W. 155th Street and 8th Avenue and ends at the Harlem State Office Building, on W. 125th Street and Lenox Avenue. There are stops along the route at houses of worship to get quick healthy living tips such as substituting brown rice for white rice.
From the walk the community is welcome to the Health and Wellness Fair at the State Office Building’s plaza. Other events include an ecumenical worship service October 1, 7:00 PM at Ephesus Seventh Day Adventist Church, 101 W. 123rd Street and a health conference and fair at Minisink Townhouse, 646 Lenox Avenue.

The impetus behind the week is the continuing high rates of hospital admissions for cases of stroke, pulmonary disease, diabetic complications and HIV/AIDS. Too many Harlem residents access emergency medical services rather than preventive care. The other motivating force is the firm belief in a higher power and that holy renewal is a mind, body and spirit reality.
CHHR is an offshoot of the Borough of Manhattan Ecumenical Advisory Group (BMEAG) that is comprised of representatives of houses of worship and faith-based institutions in Manhattan. It receives guidance and support from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Office of Minority Health. CHHR grew beyond its parent body in the drive to reduce disparities in health and medical service delivery experienced in Central Harlem compared to the whole of Manhhattan. CHHR’s short list of member organizations includes Harlem Hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital, Canaan Baptist Church, Mother Zion A.M.E. Church, Abyssinian Baptist Church, and Ephesus Seventh Day Adventist Church.

The voluntary body uses teleconferencing and weekly meetings to finalize the logistics of the Health Revival Week. The September 8 meeting closed with a special prayer of encouragement for Dr. Kristie Lancaster, professor in New York University’s Department of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health who has steadfastly co-convened the meetings.Contact Central Harlem Health Revival at 646 345 5235 or for more information.

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