By Nicole Etta, Loyola University Chicago
The last grocery store in Maywood, an Aldi’s, shuttered on Christmas Eve of 2016. And with it disappeared the neighborhood’s easy access to fresh produce and its health-sustaining bounty of fiber, vitamins and nutrients that can help ward off chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and more.
But Mary (D’Anza) Mora, RDN, CDE ’02, is determined to change that. Mora works for the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing as a Community School and Wellness Coordinator with Proviso Partners for Health (PP4H), a community-based coalition made up of Loyola University Chicago, Loyola University Health System, and other partners who are collaborating to improve health equity and economic development in Chicago’s near west suburbs. Drawing on her background as a registered dietitian nutritionist, a professionally trained chef, and a master gardener volunteer, Mora is a woman on a mission: to increase access to healthy foods in the Maywood, Bellwood, Broadview, and Melrose Park.
“We know that a lot of health issues are within communities that don’t have fresh, affordable produce, and this is also a food equity issue,” Mora says. “I feel less like a registered dietitian and more like a social justice worker.” Continue reading
The Village Free Press| Monday, January 28, 2019 | By Community Editor | @maywoodnews
The Chicago area is bracing for a bitter cold front that’s been forecast for this week, with wind chills “expected to drop to 35 to 50 degrees below zero in some locations on Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning, prompting warnings from city and state officials,” according to an ABC 5 Chicago report.
Here is a partial list of warming centers that are available to some of the most vulnerable residents in Proviso Township. These are facilities that have been designated as warming centers on local, county and statewide government websites (Oak Street health released a statement notifying the public of its warming center status).
Proviso Township offices
Oak Street Health
By Drew Martin | Thursday, January 24, 2019 | Institute for Healthcare Improvement
How does someone who has avoided talking about race for most of his life learn the value of challenging racism? My story goes back to my teens.
I did not experience blatant racism until my first day at a predominantly white Catholic high school on the southwest side of Chicago. Hearing the N-word was nothing new; it was commonplace in my neighborhood. But this time the elongated pause after it was said was different, as was the anger it stirred in me.
As the only black student, however, I learned to turn my anger into assimilation during my high school years. The school made me its first mediator. At an all-boys school, fighting wasn’t uncommon, but while others fought, I carved out a niche for myself. I became a peacemaker.
I thought this was a good situation for years. I heard the N-word a lot less, but it didn’t erase other things going on. Being the only black student, for example, meant feeling like I needed to — and often implicitly being asked to — represent all black people. It made me feel so uncomfortable with who I was.
Later in life — in college, at work, and in my community — I ignored inequities that have kept generations of people from reaching their fullest potential in health and well-being. I was averse to talking about race because I had spent so much time in high school representing all black people. I got tired of being a black man.
It’s not that I ever wanted to be anything else, but when I was a financial analyst, and others at my company started a black awareness group, I refused to join. I desperately wanted to be part of it, but I couldn’t bring myself to take part. I couldn’t even put pictures of Martin Luther King, Jr. or Malcolm X at my desk as others did.
In 2015, while I worked with Proviso Partners for Health, I realized my passiveness was contributing to the inequities that had been too painful for me to acknowledge when I was younger. That was the year I was introduced to 100 Million Healthier Lives, a global network of solutions-focused leaders with an aim of 100 million people living healthier lives by 2020. Read More....
A big thank you to everyone who called and emailed your commissioners to encourage them to support Tobacco 21. This is a big win and an important step towards saving lives and reducing the burden of tobacco use in Proviso communities and beyond!
This legislation will cover all of Suburban Cook County, unless a municipality decides to opt out, which is unlikely. It will go into effect on June 1st.
“We’re thrilled to see Cook County taking positive steps to keep young people from a lifetime of nicotine addiction,” says Joel Africk, president and CEO of Respiratory Health Association. “We’ve seen Tobacco 21 laws work to reduce teen smoking in numerous communities and look forward to a happier, healthier Cook County in the years to come.”
Congratulations, Cook County!
Proviso Partners For Health
Check our Events section regularly to find out what awesome things are happening in our area. We invite you to find opportunities to get involved!