Support good health this year

Published 1:46 pm Wednesday, December 31, 2014

There have been some leadership changes going on the past few months at the Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community, and there’s no doubt in my mind they will help improve the partnership’s work to create a healthier community.

Back in November, Deborah Nadell came on board with the partnership to be the coordinator for its Suffolk on the Move campaign. The program aims to get folks moving through a variety of initiatives, including its free-to-enter, non-competitive 5K run/walks.

A new program of Suffolk on the Move is the walking program Nadell has started to encourage Suffolk workers to move more every day. Nadell is working with local businesses to create a turnkey program that will encourage workers to walk throughout their day. The benefits to workers and companies are obvious — the workers will be healthier and more alert, while companies see the benefits of more motivated workers and reduced health care costs. The benefits to the community as a whole aren’t as easily quantified but no less important. At the bottom line, healthier individuals lead to a healthier community.

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This week, a new executive director of the Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community is taking the helm. Regina Brayboy is excited to get going and already is familiar with what the partnership does.

Brayboy is a former chief operating officer at WHRO and is on the Riverside Health Systems board. But perhaps the most important piece of her background that will help in her current job is her work with an anti-crime initiative in Newport News that partnered with many different community agencies and services. That’s exactly what the Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community does, only it’s fighting bad health and behaviors that lead to bad health rather than crime.

“I’ve always liked projects where you bring together multiple facets of the community,” she told me in our interview recently.

The Suffolk community certainly likes them, too, and the partnership is one of the most successful examples. National Night Out would be an example of an anti-crime initiative, and there are many more out there for various causes.

As we start the new year, make a resolution to support the partnership, whether it’s through a monetary donation, volunteering at an event or in their community gardens, or simply helping to spread the word about who they are and what they do.

And perhaps the best way you can support their mission is to do your part to make Suffolk a healthier community. Get or stay active. Quit smoking, if you do. Those are two moves that make a world of difference in your health, and they are the simplest ways to prevent easily avoidable health issues.