Centers for Medicare and Medicaid hear from UAB leaders on its efforts towards health equity

Published: May. 19, 2023 at 5:02 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The administrator from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, made a stop at UAB this week to see what the university is doing to advance health equity in the state.

The program showcased was the Live Health Smart Alabama initiative. The program works to meet people where they are, leading to a healthier lifestyle.

Senior Vice President for Medicine at UAB Dr. Anupam Agarwal hopes the initiative will put the entire state in a healthier place.

“Right now we are 48, 49 for diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer, kidney disease, and so on. To at least get to the 30-40 range,” said Dr. Agarwal.

One part of the initiative is the Mobile Market. The trailer travels to neighborhoods around Birmingham and allows community members to purchase fresh produce and healthy foods at a low cost. Staff also teaches customers how to cook the food they purchase.

Another traveling unit is the Mobile Wellness van. Community members are able to have their blood pressure, BMI, cholesterol, and more tested.

The program takes a village, something Brooks-LaSure was left impressed by.

“The companies were interested in helping because it’s their workers. That linkage of ‘Oh let’s go into our own community where our workers work and take care of the community.’ It’s can I walk to a park? Can I get groceries? And do I know what to do with them?” said Brooks La-Sure.

Dr. Agarwal said they hope to expand the program throughout the state. To see a schedule of when the Mobile Market or Mobile Wellness is in your area, click here.

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