Texas Health is helping transform one of Fort Worth’s oldest inner-city neighborhoods. Many of its residents suffer from higher rates of chronic conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.
Ralph Bunche Park has sat undeveloped for some 40 years. Located between two schools in the Stop Six neighborhood, it had become a haven for gangs. Today, the park is undergoing a $1.5 million in renovations to add trails, benches and security lighting. Texas Health and the Blue Zones Project® donated nearly $87,000 for playground and fitness equipment to give people access to a healthy and safe place to exercise.
Down from the park is a corner store that has long been the go-to spot for kids coming home from school. Today, because of Texas Health’s contributions, it’s stocked with healthy produce and water is kept near the checkout counter instead of sugary sodas. The changes at this market — which also included upgrading the entrance, parking lot and façade, and installing a refrigeration unit — earned national recognition. The Fort Worth Blue Zones Project team won the Healthy Food Availability and Accessibility award in the Food Policy category from the National Blue Zones Project.
“This underscores that Texas Health and affiliates are helping to improve the overall health of a community,” said Matthew Dufrene, vice president of North Texas Healthy Communities. North Texas Healthy Communities is a nonprofit community outreach arm of Texas Health that focuses on community health and well-being. “We know that it helps to reduce chronic conditions and disease if there is access to healthy fruits and vegetables and foods,” said Dufrene.
Read more about our community collaborations in our Texas Health Community Responsibility & Sustainability Report.