The Village HeartBEAT, a faith-based health initiative sponsored by the Mecklenburg County Health Department, was recently named one of 50 finalists in the national Healthy Cities/Healthy Communities challenge. The program will receive $10,000 and is eligible to win up to $500,000 if it demonstrates measurable results in the next two years.
Twenty African-American and Hispanic churches in Charlotte have teams participating in the 10-month wellness program. They will work to reduce risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease with a goal of adopting effective, sustainable policies and strategies to encourage healthier lifestyle choices.
The Healthy Cities/Healthy Communities challenge is a partnership between the Aetna Foundation, the American Public Health Association and the National Association of Counties. Hundreds of cities, health departments and educational institutions are participating.