Healthy Savannah holds biannual meeting to determine upcoming goals, celebrate partners


SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Healthy Savannah hosted its biannual meeting Tuesday to honor its work toward improving the Hostess City for all residents.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Healthy Savannah’s initiatives have helped the community stay strong while at home, including weekly walking groups and providing food support to those in need.

Now, the organization is planning how they’ll support a culture of health in the area throughout the next year.

“Our goal is to forge a path forward,” Healthy Savannah Chairperson-Elect Lillian Grant-Baptiste said. “For equity and inclusion, to stay committed to our mission which is to support and lead a culture of health where the healthy choice in Savannah is the easy choice.”

Tuesday’s program kicked off with a presentation of the 2021 Health Innovation Award to the Savannah H.O.P.E Photovoice Project and keynote speaker Jovan Sage, who talked about the intersections of race and culture within wellness and sustainability.

The group also honored Healthy Savannah Outgoing Chairperson Randy McCall, Ph.D.

Grant-Baptiste says in the coming months, she will be focusing on issues surrounding food equity and justice.

“I’m looking forward to looking at the various policies and work with our partners and work with those in our community to lift those voices,” Grant-Baptiste said. “We’ve done a lot, but we have so much more work that needs to be done.”

Using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health Grant, Healthy Savannah is implementing four citywide strategies, including physical activity, nutrition and community-clinical linkages.

“We want to hear from the community, because it’s not Healthy Savannah saying this is what’s good for the community, it’s the community saying we want the healthy choices be the easy choices. We listen and then we act and we’ve been able to do that for 14 years,” Executive Director Paula Kreissler said.

In the next 90 days, Healthy Savannah will be concentrating on COVID-19 vaccine community access with additional funding the CDC provided for COVID and flu vaccine acceptance and access.

“Our goal is to make sure everyone who wants the vaccine who knows what it takes to get the vaccine that they know where to do that and they feel safe doing it,” Kreissler said.

Visit the Health Savannah website to learn more about their partners and 2021 initiatives.

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