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July 2023

The Equitable Neighborhoods Initiative has been busy advancing health equity around our state! Read further to learn about what we’ve been up to this quarter.

graphic reads we're expanding

The Equitable Neighborhoods Initiative Expands Grant and Welcomes New Communities

Over the past two years, the Equitable Neighborhoods Initiative has worked hard to address COVID-19 and improve health equity in 15 underserved communities across the beautiful state of Alabama. We’re thrilled to announce that our work will continue with the award of a 1-year, $3.7 million extension of the original grant. This will allow us to continue our work with our partner communities, add new dimensions to the initiative, and, perhaps most excitingly, add five new partner communities to our impact. The support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Alabama Department of Public Health means ENI will work with 20 communities in the state over three years with a total of $7.8 million.

We want to welcome our new partner communities of Fayette, Guin, Sulligent, and Haleyville in northwest Alabama along with Prichard in Mobile County. These communities will join Bayou La Batre, Blountsville, Camp Hill, Coden, Collinsville, Crossville, Dadeville, Goodwater, Hobson City, Kilpatrick, LaFayette, Ma-Chis Lower Creek Indian Tribe of Alabama, Midway, MOWA Choctaw Indians and Pittsview.

Learn more about the grant expansion.

Graphic reads Project Updates

March 2023 Retreat Recap

Last month, our team came together in Montevallo for the fourth ENI retreat, this time with Community Liaisons, Regional Directors and project partners from all 20 communities. We discussed youth community councils and regional youth summits, planned logistics as we begin work under the grant extension, and were trained in diversity, equity and inclusion! These retreats are full of team building and planning and always leave us with a smile!

The ENI team poses at the June 2023 retreat. The team is wearing matching blue shirts from the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Healing Zones

Healing zones are an important component of the Equitable Neighborhoods Initiative designed to provide an outdoor space in each community that supports physical, mental, emotional and social health. The spaces are intended to be a tool to combat COVID-19 and any future pandemics. COVID-19 impacts people with underlying health issues, so the healing zones will offer a safe walking space. The pandemic also impacted our ability to safely gather, so these healing zones offer a way for community members to come together safely outdoors.

The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development is facilitating the planning and development of these spaces in collaboration with each local government and ENI citizen Advisory Group and with input from the specific population being served. UACED has partnered with landscape architects and the UA Sculpture Program to create healing zones that are attractive, inviting, and accessible to all members of each community and that feature amenities such as walking paths, exercise stations, children’s play areas, bike racks, benches, picnic tables, and raised garden beds. Master planning is currently underway in all 20 communities and is expected to be complete by the end of the summer. Construction in some communities will begin as early as August.

Community members gather behind a table with a blue table cloth and a table runner that has the ENI logo. Next to the table is the plan for Crossville & Kilpatrick's healing zone

Community input is crucial to the healing zone process. Pictured is a community planning session for Crossville and Kilpatrick.

Health Equity Planning Questionnaire

Each ENI community will create a health equity action plan, which will be a set of specific and actionable steps to eliminate health disparities unique to the concerns facing each community. To guide the plan, Community Liaisons in Fayette, Guin, Haleyville, Prichard, and Sulligent are distributing this health questionnaire that will identify citizens' concerns for the health of their community. Once these questionnaires are complete, these five communities will move to the planning phase of the process.

Graphic Reads New Blogs
Concerned senior patient talks with healthcare professional. Healthcare professional is carrying a clipboard.

Health Equity in Action: An Interview with ADPH's Latisha Kennebrew

By Gabrielle Lamplugh

Members of the Equitable Neighborhoods Initiative (ENI) team occasionally get asked about the meaning of the “E” in ENI. Some folks have questions about the meaning of equity. While others wonder what equitable health looks like practically... Read more.

Young nurse doing a glucose blood test for diabetes on her senior male patient, during a home visit.

Addressing ENI Communities' Health Concerns: Diabetes

By Debbie Quinn

This month, we’ll discuss DIABETES, which is prevalent across the U.S. Over a half million people in Alabama have been diagnosed with diabetes, which is a long-term, non-curable disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control... Read more.

At the Juneteenth ENI kickoff in Prichard, Dr. Earl Suttle is laughing as he talks to a Prichard community member. The community member is wearing a Juneteenth Freedom Day t-shirt and holding a sign that says "I am so smart," part of an exercise Dr. Suttle does to engage with communities. In the background there is a bouncy slide, tents with tables, and lots of people. Some people in the background are holding other signs part of the same exercise.

Celebrate with ENI

Celebrate recent holidays with this double-feature of ENI blogs:

Celebrating Civic Participation this Independence Day

by Cristin Brawner

 Read more.

ENI Prioritizes Health Equity this Juneteenth

by Gabrielle Lamplugh

Read more.

Graphic Reads Recent Events

Check out these recent events in the ENI communities!

Midway community members and first responders gather around a table during the mental health first aid training. The group is talking and has workbooks in their hands

Mental Health First Aid Training

Each ENI partner community will host a Mental Health First Aid Training. The course gives participants the tools needed to help determine if somebody need mental health care, not to provide mental health care. Instructors teach with the idea that helping to get someone the needed care early will provide faster treatment.

More Photos

Stephanie Khat, Dr. Earl Suttle, and LaSheryl Dotch pose for a picture on the street in front of some downtown buildings in Prichard. LaSheryl is wearing a t-shirt that says "Protect the Future" and Stephanie is wearing a t-shirt from the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Juneteenth Celebrations

Several of our communities held Juneteenth celebrations to commemorate the emancipation of slavery in the U.S. Community Liaisons even traveled to nearby ENI partner communities to help celebrate and support the events!

Read More

Four representatives from the Mobile County Health Department pose in a line. Two are wearing business casual, and two are wearing scrubs.

MOWA Choctaw COVID Workshop

The MOWA Choctaw Indians partnered with the Mobile County Health Department to bring a "COVID Stressors" workshop to the community last month. Pictured are the presenters.

Graphic reads connect with Equitable Neighborhoods Initiative online

Find us on the ENI Website and Social Media Platforms

Be sure to check out our website and follow us on social media for more information and the project's progress: enialabama.org 

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Funding Acknowledgement: The Equitable Neighborhoods Initiative is supported by funds made available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Center for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support, under 1 NH75OT000104-01-00.  Disclaimer: The content of the Equitable Neighborhoods Initiative are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of or endorsement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.