Communities of color bear a disproportionate burden of risks for heart disease and stroke in the U.S. For this reason, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association created EmPowered To Serve, an online mega-community of diverse individuals and organizations united in building sustainable cultures of health in communities across the country.
Through EmPowered To Serve, a free online community platform, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is uniting individuals, faith-based organizations, businesses, government and nonprofit sectors to build a “mega community” around a common goal of improving the health and well-being of multicultural communities.
“When people join EmPowered To Serve, they have the opportunity to assess their personal health, assess the health of their community or environment and work on an action plan to improve problem areas. The aim of the platform is for communities to achieve at least a 10 percent improvement in health, which is measured through a post action plan assessment,” says Clyde Yancy, M.D., Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and American Heart Association volunteer.
Anyone can become a “Change Agent” in their community. With community access to shared resources, a healthy living curriculum and community health assessment tools, people can learn how to take small steps that lead to big changes in healthy living behaviors, healthy living options and heart disease and stroke prevention and survival rates.
Here are some easy ideas to impact health in your community:
• Plant a garden and share the fruits and vegetables with members of your community
• Organize a fitness or walking group in your community
• Provide healthy snacks for youth activities and encourage others to do the same
• Lead a healthy cooking session at a community event or widely share healthy recipes in your community
• Advocate for healthy options in vending machines in your community
• For areas without a full-service grocery store, organize a ride-share to the nearest full-service grocery store for fresh foods
• Initiate a CPR training in your community or share the American Heart Association’s CPR Anytime video with your friends
• Advocate to take fried foods and/or sugar sweetened beverages off of the menu at church or community events
• Challenge community members to ride a bike or walk to school or work
Join the EmPowered To Serve online community at empoweredtoserve.org to make a measurable impact on the health of your community.