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The Catalyst

Winner uses grant money to fund HEAL Project

By Ashley Barker
Public Relations

Last October, Debbie Bryant, DNP, R.N., became South Carolina’s first Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Community Health Leaders Award winner.

The assistant director of cancer prevention, control and outreach at MUSC’s Hollings Cancer Center, was one of 10 leaders to earn a $105,000 grant to support a project created by the winner. Bryant decided to use her grant money to fund the HEAL (Healthy Eating and Active Living) Project within Community Compass, the annual outreach event that helped earn her the RWJ Foundation award.

WCBD TV 2 anchor Carolyn Murray, left, and Dr. Debbie Bryant, right, present Cynthia Wilcher with a $350 check for winning the Best Recipe Grand Prize.
WCBD TV 2 anchor Carolyn Murray, left, and Dr. Debbie Bryant, right, present Cynthia Wilcher with a $350 check for winning the Best Recipe Grand Prize.

The project, which focuses on the Tri-county area, aims to develop guidelines for five organizations to implement into their meetings, seminars and events. Fraternal, civic, social and faith-based organizations were asked to apply to receive consultations with experts in the areas of nutrition, food preparation, exercise and physical activity, and smoking cessation.

“We want to really make this uniquely tailored for that organization,” Bryant said. “An organization could say something as simple as, ‘For the next year, we’re going to never serve anything fried.’ We’re going to help them develop their own guidelines then implement their guidelines.”

Once the guidelines are created and being implemented, the HEAL team will evaluate the organizations on how well they are following them. The organization that incorporates their guidelines best during the course of two years will then receive an advertisement in The Post and Courier.

“We had about 25 organizations to submit their names for participation. Now we’re reviewing and deciding who will meet the challenge,” Bryant said.

In order to participate, organizations must have a membership of at least 20 and a leader who is committed to the organization’s goal. They also have to put together an eight-to-10-person committee to focus on the project. Organizations that join and implement the guidelines will receive a stipend of $1,200 to spend however they so choose.

Cynthia Wilcher, of Arabian Temple #139, won the recipe contest with her maple roast veggies recipe.
Cynthia Wilcher, of Arabian Temple #139, won the recipe contest with her maple roast veggies recipe.

“Our role is to bring the expertise of Hollings Cancer Center, the medical center and the prevention and control program together so the organizations can drive what they’d like to do as it relates to health and lifestyle changes,” Bryant said. “We’re not trying to drive everybody into the same pot. We’re just trying to be here as a support service to help them do what they want to do.”

Click here to view the winning maple roast veggies recipe.

In addition to the HEAL Project, Bryant’s grant was used to fund a recipe dish contest at the most recent Community Compass event. Organizations were asked to submit a healthy recipe, which was judged on appearance, creativity, taste and how healthy the dish was by two dietitian experts and a community member. Cynthia Wilcher, of Arabian Temple #139, won the contest with her maple roast veggies recipe. All of the healthy recipes that were submitted will be compiled into a book for members to share.

“This is taking our education awareness and bringing people together to take the next step into an action place where our partners and community members could be involved in developing a plan to change what’s possible as it relates to the lifestyle interventions,” Bryant said.

For more information, visit http://hcc.musc.edu/commitments/outreach.htm.

June 26, 2013
 
 
 

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