WVU Eastern Medical System reaching out to promote community health & nutrition

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WVU President Dr. Gordon Gee is a champion of the university medical system farm to table initiative to promote health lifestyles and nutrition.

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (WDVM) — We hear it all the time, eat healthy to stay healthy. West Virginia University’s eastern region medical system hopes to make that easier for us.

A healthy diet with nutritional value is so important, the president of West Virginia University came to Martinsburg to showcase the WVU medical system approach for the entire region.

“This started student to student,” said Dr. E. Gordon Gee, “and now they’ve created it so that it’s a community-wide project.”

This project is community-wide for now — but WVU sees statewide implications from what is happening here in Martinsburg.

“By building programs like this that are really unique for the State of West Virginia, we are committing to that idea that we are doing things first in the eastern panhandle,” said WVU health sciences vice president, Dr. Clay Marsh.

According to WVU’s eastern regional dean of the medical system, everyone in the community is invited to the table.

“This is all built on partnerships with our community, our local farmers and our local churches and our food pantries our community our community gardens,” explained Emma Eggleston, dean for the WVU eastern panhandle medical system.

The team at WVU is all about helping the community at large, beyond the kitchen table.

Carla Toolan, community outreach coordinator for the initiative, said, “It takes a four- pillars approach to lifestyle, medicine and diabetes management for nutrition, physical activity, stress reduction and sleep hygiene.”

Melanie Jimmerson with the WVU Farm-to-You program added, “I believe what has really been the most rewarding part is seeing people be able to go home with free and fresh produce that’s locally grown.”

President Gee will continue to take his message throughout the Mountain State. The Healthy Harvest Farm Table is open to residents the first and third Tuesday, through November, starting at 9 a.m near the WVU Berkeley medical complex on Sushruta Drive, Martinsburg.

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