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Eastern Virginia Organizations Partner to Address Health Equity

January 17, 2023
Black woman sitting on a couch with her books smiling

Today, Riverside Health System in partnership with Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS), Norfolk State University (NSU), and Truist, announced that they will unite the community in learning more about healthy eating and how watching what you eat can improve your cardiovascular health. They will conduct a discussion on February 16, 2023, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. entitled, “Eating Our Way to Healthy Hearts: Closing the Gap in Black Health Disparities.” Carla Hall, Celebrity Chef, will join the discussion and provide a LIVE cooking demonstration. 

“Riverside is thrilled to be partnering with EVMS, NSU, and Truist to host this event,” says Mike Dacey, M.D., CEO for Riverside Health System. “It is crucial that we not only address health inequity but educate those around us on the issues certain populations are facing, as well. It is an honor and a privilege to be able to do so, and we are looking forward to discussing cardiovascular health.”

Heart disease is the number one killer for all Americans, but African Americans are at a higher risk of developing heart disease than other ethnic groups. Cardiovascular disease accounts for about one-third of the disparity in potential life-years lost between Black and white Americans. Of African American women ages 20 and older, 49 percent have heart diseases but only 1 in 5 African American women believes she is personally at risk. 

“We are excited to host this event at NSU and welcome those from around our communities to join us and learn more about eating healthy and cardiovascular health,” says Dr. Felicia Mebane, PhD mMSPH, Executive Director, Center for Public Health Initiatives at NSU.

“We look forward to having Celebrity Chef Carla Hall cook a heart healthy meal and learn more from our panel of experts about how to improve cardiovascular health through nutrition.” 

The panel will feature:

  • April Woodard, Moderator: Morning Show Co-Host, COAST LIVE, WTKR News 3
  • Carla Hall, Panelist: Celebrity Chef
  • Frankye Myers, MSN, RN, NE-BC, Panelist: Senior Vice President/Chief Nursing Officer, Riverside Health System
  • Dr. Mekbib Gemeda, Panelist: Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion, Eastern Virginia Medical School
  • Dr. Felicia Mebane, PhD, MSPH, Panelist: Executive Director, Center for Public Health Initiatives, Norfolk State University
  • Jill Comess, DHSc, MS, RDN, Panelist: Program Director, Food Science and Nutrition, Norfolk State University
  • Mark Johnson, Panelist: Vice President, Community Development Manager, Truist
  • Quetel Sellers, Panelist: VCU Graduate Student, Administrative Resident, Riverside Health System

This event will take place on Thursday, February 16, 2023, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at Norfolk State University. For more information on panelists and registration, visit riversideonline.com/healthequity