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In January 2000, a group of four women from various departments came together to support one another in their weight loss mission. We soon learned that the needs of the campus members were more involved then weight loss. Much to our surprise several employees were not using the medical services and did not know their health status. In the first year of our program we partnered with the College of Health Related Professions Physician Assistance Program and the Department of Family Practice to include health screening for employees. In the following years we returned to our initial mission which was to provide free or low-cost nutrition and fitness programs that are conveniently located on campus. A Healthy Downstate (AHD) offers a variety of classes for every fitness level, (regardless of any medical or health limitation). AHD also introduced At Work Weight Watchers, which follows the USDA food guidelines for weight loss.
Over the years several departments have collaborated with AHD: the Department of Preventive Medicine, Department of Nursing, and University Hospital of Brooklyn. in 2006 the program was adopted by the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine's Division of Sports Medicine. We conducted several research studies and published and presented those results at the American Public Health Association national conferences.
AHD partnered with several community based organizations including high schools in the East Flatbush and East New York communities to offer education and fitness classes to teachers. We also partnered with households of faith in Crown Heights, Midwood and Spring Creek to offer nutrition and fitness classes to members of their congregations. Our current partnership is with the All Women’s Triathlon Team. (AWTT). AWTT mission to inspire and encourage women to participate in future triathlons.
We hope that we can be of service to both the employees at SUNY DMC and UHB ,as well as to the communities we are privileged to serve.