“Oh, my gosh, am I excited. I am ecstatic,” says Alisha Brown, vice president of the Stapleton Foundation and director of be well Health and Wellness Initiative.
Be well recently received a $484,635 grant to increase access to physical activity in Northeast Denver. “The overall goal for the fund is geared toward increasing physical activity with a focus on the African-American community because it’s one of the communities higher in health disparities,” Brown says.
Be well was among 49 organizations awarded a grant by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to support public health efforts. Be well received basic funding, meaning they have time to decide how to spend the money. It will be administered by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and run for three years.
Be well is focusing on lower-income African-African communities and determining the barriers to physical activity. Brown cannot attribute any one reason why health disparities exist among certain populations but thinks it is important to acknowledge the problem and figure out how to prevent it. “I think it’s an opportunity for us to work together.”
Be well is currently in the financial planning phase and will work with residents, recreation centers, RTD FasTracks, the CDC and the City and County of Denver to decide how to spend the money.
“These are tax dollars and we know we have to be very responsible for these funds and make sure they are a key investment for the populations we are serving,” Brown says. She thinks the grant will help make a better, healthier Denver.
To learn more about the project, visit bewellconnect.org.