The Episcopal Health Foundation has launched a $10 million effort to address underlying community conditions that affect a person's health.
The money is going to 13 different clinics across Texas, including one in Waco.
The Heart of Texas Community Health Center will receive a $450,000 grant to help reduce obesity and related metabolic disease in our area.
"We were seeing this, in terms of our patient care, that our patients were suffering from a growing burden of the complications of diabetes and obesity and we wanted to do something about it at," said Dr. Jackson Griggs, associate program director at Heart of Texas Community Health Center.
The center already provides patients with fitness coaches and a wellness center filled with equipment.
These free services are greatly appreciated by James Stevenson Jr., a retiree who decided it was time to get back in shape.
"Try to lose some of this stomach," said Stevenson. "The doctor recommended I do the gym for my health because I'm type two diabetic."
This grant will also expand the center's services even more. The money will be put towards creating a community garden and a legal aid program.
"It prevents them from having to go to the doctor in the first place," said Brian Sasser, director of communications for the Episcopal Health Foundation. "It makes them healthier. It's cheaper. It's just an all around better way to help a community stay healthier."
Today was Stevenson's first day of his fitness journey, but he hopes his new weekly activity will give him lasting results.
"I'm not ready to leave, I want to live a little while longer," said Stevenson. "I'm 73 years old. I want to live a little while longer to see some of my grandkids grow up."
The Heart of Texas Community Health Center received a portion of the grant at the end of 2017. It will get the rest over a three year period.
The organization's garden is set to open in the near future.
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