Communities are diverse in their size, resources, and groups of people living within them – rural to urban; singles to family units; young to old; local to corporate organizations; the general population to minority and underserved groups. The community offers a broad range of opportunities for engagement in physical activity. There are numerous, affordable community-based physical activity programs offered in our communities that individuals do not know exist and go under-utilized. EIM seeks to provide a systematic and coordinated approach for engaging community members, across the lifespan, in these programs by developing linkages between local healthcare systems and these existing programs.
EIM calls upon healthcare providers, and the health systems that they work in, to bring awareness to these programs by:
- Identifying safe places (i.e., parks) that their patients can go to be active
- Maintaining current information on programs being offered in their local community
- Developing a network of certified professionals to whom they can refer their patients
It is through the establishing of these referral networks and utilization of existing community programs, places and exercise professionals, that our communities can fulfill their potential in reshaping the health and wellness of their residents.
EIM wants to be part of the solution in reducing chronic diseases, obesity, and physical inactivity in communities that lack safe places to play and exercise, and where fresh, healthy food is not easily accessible or, community programs are not readily available. Minority populations in America - most notably African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans - face not only reduced access to medical care, but poor health outcomes, greater mortality rates, and higher levels of chronic diseases, obesity, and physical activity. To view more statistics on the health of our underserved populations, click here.
Underserved populations are not only limited to African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans, but also include:
- People with physical impairments
- Rural and inner city populations
- People in developing countries
- Undocumented immigrants and political refugees
- Members of the gay/lesbian, bisexual or transgender community
- Low income populations
- People with little or no formal education
EIM aims to address the barriers that these populations face and work to both educate and empower these groups to engage in regular physical actiivty, as well as create access to physical activity opportunities through local healthcare systems and community organizations that align with their cultures and values.