In November of 2018, the YMCA of Coastal Georgia, in partnership with Healthy Savannah, was awarded a five year, $3.4 million collaborative grant to undertake a REACH project from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. REACH (Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health) was started by the CDC in 1999 to help reduce health disparities among racial and ethnic populations with the highest burden of chronic disease, (i.e. hyper tension, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity), through culturally tailored interventions to address preventable risk behaviors, (i.e. poor nutrition, smoking and physical inactivity).
The primary approach of the Savannah/Chatham County REACH project- H.O.P.E. –is to reduce health disparities among African American and Hispanic/Latino Americans in low income neighborhoods in seven zip codes in Chatham County by improving access to healthy food and opportunities for physical activity, and creating more effective community linkages between people in need and the clinical service providers and community organizations that can help.
The YMCA and Healthy Savannah have established a strong, collaborative infrastructure and have a successful history of working together to improve public health. The coalition is comprised of over 28 local members who are serving the African American and Hispanic American communities in Savannah and Chatham County.
The strategies and activities involved in the Savannah/Chatham County REACH project will center around Nutrition, Physical Activity and Community-Clinical Linkages. Some of the major undertakings outlined in the project include; expansion of Farm Truck 912’s work to increase food access, support from Savannah HealthMPowers for technical assistance to increase healthy food options in neighborhood retail stores, work with Chatham Area Transit to continue to improve mobility in the priority areas, advocacy work for support of the City of Savannah’s New Zoning Ordinance which promotes walkability, mixed use, diverse housing and small-scale development to support neighborhood stability and character, collaboration on the work being undertaken by the Tide to Town Urban Trail Network.
To learn more about the progress or to get involved, please contact our REACH Savannah Staff:
Program Administrator: Paula Kreissler
Assistant Director, Nutrition: Deirdre Grim
Assistance Director, Physical Activity: Armand Turner
Assistant Director, Community-Clinical Linkages: Ty McClendon