April is National Minority Health Month.
According to the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, this is a time to raise awareness about health disparities that continue to affect racial and ethnic minority populations, and to encourage action through health education, early detection and control of disease complications.
With a goal of reducing health disparities, this is right in line with the mission of The Well, Cleveland County’s Wellness Square, which “exists to make Cleveland County the healthiest and happiest it can be,” and to that end provides “access, education, programs, events and activities to all residents to make this goal a reality.”
Executive Director Melody Bays spoke about her passion for health and wellness equity in an earlier column, but what is equity? How do we eliminate, or at least reduce disparities?
To create equity, we have to remove barriers that prevent access. Those barriers will not be the same for every person experiencing inequity. Still, you have to start somewhere.
At The Well, most classes are free of charge, though some of the food classes do have a minor fee to cover the cost of the food. The building is built to ADA standards to permit full access regardless of physical disability.
The Well’s leadership staff have worked to bring programs to serve a wide range of people and community needs, and to create a welcoming environment for all.
While eliminating barriers of economic and physical access is important, how do you reduce other disparities related to minority populations?
Maybe you start with making people feel welcome?
The Well is a joint project between Cleveland County and the Cleveland County Health Department along with several partners, including Norman Regional Health System, Moore Norman Technology Center, Pioneer Library System, area artists and committed local community members who teach at The Well, just to name a few of the people who make this vision a reality.
These strategic partners are committed to providing access to nutrition and health information, disease prevention, fresh food at the farmers market, exercise, financial literacy, mental health education and more.
The Well has become a village of cooperating persons who truly care and who commit their dollars and time to bringing wellness equity to Cleveland County. “All are welcome at The Well,” is the motto they live by.
So here’s the resounding message we want our community to hear throughout April and beyond:
All are welcome at The Well.
Todas son bienvenidas en The Well.
Tout le monde est le bienvenu au The Well.
Txhua tus zoo siab txais tos ntawm Lub Qhov Dej.
Tá fáilte roimh chách ag an The Well.
Vabljeni vsi v The Well.
Tutti sono i benvenuti al The Well.
Almal is welkom by The Well.
E talia uma i The Well.
Alle sind bei The Well willkommen.
Ĉiuj estas bonvenaj ĉe The Well.