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October 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 Project Updates

Five New ENI Partner Communities Off to a Strong Start

Our five new partner communities are in full swing! Fayette, Guin, Haleyville, Prichard, and Sulligent all joined ENI earlier this summer when our grant was expanded. Since June, all five of the new partner communities have held their kickoff event, made dozens of meaningful connections in the community, contributed to their health equity plans, launched their Advisory Groups and Youth Community Councils, and hosted meetings to plan for their healing zones! We're so excited to have this group of go-getters on the team!

Learn more about ENI's partner communities here.

ENI Partner Community Prichard hosted Vigor High School's first Youth Community Council in September.

Guin Community Liaison Keith Rhudy hosted their first Advisory Group meeting last month.

Health Equity Planning Underway in all 20 Communities

Equity recognizes that people come from different circumstances, so everyone is given the right resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome. It is especially important when it comes to health. ENI's health equity plans entail a set of specific and actionable steps to eliminate health disparities unique to the concerns facing each community. The communities started by asking their neighbors what they believed to be the most pressing health concerns facing their community. Then, a small group of passionate citizens got together to create a plan of action. All twenty ENI partner communities are nearing completion!

Mike Easterwood stands in front of an ENI powerpoint. Six people sit around a table facing him with notes and laptops in front of them.

Mike Easterwood, ENI's Planner & Community Development Specialist, leads the health equity planning session in Bayou La Batre.

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Now Loading: ENI's Video Series

We’re excited to announce the launch of the Equitable Neighborhoods Initiative video series! The videos explore a wide range of health equity and community development topics. From uplifting personal experiences to practical tips for improving health to useful strategies for building community capacity. This series features subject-matter experts and members of the ENI team.


Check out the ENI resource page to view the videos. Additional videos will be uploaded in the coming months. Is there a health or community development topic you’d like us to cover? Send us an email at [email protected].

Attitude is Everything

In our first video in the series, Dr. Earl Suttle, Founder & Chairman of Leadership Success International, shares a “mini masterclass” on the health and wellbeing benefits of a positive attitude. Dr. Suttle provides tips and strategies for cultivating an attitude of positivity that strengthens health and happiness. 

Graphic Reads New Blogs

Faith in Your Journey To A Healthy Life

By Uyen Truong

Since the early days of human history, faith has been a compass, navigating individuals through life and shaping how they live. While “faith” often means a strong belief in God or religion, it can mean much more. To many, faith is the virtue that they uphold. It is the purpose that keeps them motivated every day. Faith can be the guiding light that leads them through uncertainty and hardship... 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: Hypertension

By Debbie Quinn

"This month, we’ll be discussing hypertension. Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, has earned the nickname “the silent killer” because it often goes undiagnosed (and untreated) until it causes serious health problems. Understanding the mechanisms behind hypertension and its potential consequences can help individuals achieve better health outcomes... 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.

Celebrating World Mental Health Day: Addressing Mental Health in Black Communities

By Erica Cunningham

"World Mental Health Day is a day of reflection, awareness, and action. It is a day to recognize the importance of mental well-being and to understand the unique challenges faced by various communities. In preparation for World Mental Health Day, we had the privilege of speaking with ENI Regional Director, Mental Health First Aid instructor, and Mobile County citizen, Danny Patterson... Read more.

October is Health Literacy Awareness Month

For more than 20 years, October has been recognized as Health Literacy Month. Founded in 1999 by writer and occupational therapist Helen Osborne, the goal is to raise awareness on what health literacy is, why it matters, and ways to help increase it. It is important that health information is easy to understand and health care systems are easy to navigate. There are many things you can do to improve your personal health literacy. For example, always ask questions when things are unclear. Request plain language, diagrams, or even videos. If allowed, bring a family member or friend to your appointment. Have them take notes so you can focus on listening to your provider. Make sure to have a plan for every visit. Prioritize the main things you want to talk about and go in with an agenda. Take notes and follow up with your provider if necessary.

The Equitable Neighborhoods Initiative is actively working to provide Alabama communities with health resources that are informative and easy to understand. By using accessible language, we aim to include readers of all levels in our content and writing. The ENI blogs address community health concerns, providing practical and relatable information that is easy to digest. Check out our website and browse articles to help build up your own health literacy before your next appointment.

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

Hobson City 124th Founders Day Festival

Hobson City recently celebrated its 124th Founders Day with a festival. Hobson City is the first incorporated Black city in Alabama. At the event, ENI Project Leader Dr. Arturo Menefee hosted a panel titled "Growing Your Small Town". Learn more about the event at the link below!

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.

ENI Health and Wellness Fairs

Several of our communities hosted health and wellness fairs during the back-to-school season. Attendees had the opportunity to learn new health facts and donate blood. The Blountsville festival saw over 500 attendees.

More Photos

P.H.Y.R.E.'s Back to School Bash

LaFayette Community Liaison Adrian Holloway hosted a back to school bash through her organization, People Helping Youth Reach Excellence, or P.H.Y.R.E. The event connected the community and featured plenty of games and activities.

More Photos

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.