MD Anderson launches community-led Be Well Acres Homes initiative

With the launch of Be Well™ Acres Homes, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center unites more than 30 organizations, alongside community members, to promote wellness and reduce the risk for cancer and other chronic diseases.

The initiative is part of MD Anderson’s Be Well Communities™ model, a place-based strategy that narrows the gap between known cancer prevention tactics and successful implementation. Be Well Acres Homes will apply evidence-based strategies within the northwest Houston community to promote physical activity, healthy eating and other behaviors that can have a direct impact on health.

“We are proud to join together with the Acres Homes community to make a greater impact on more people in the service of our mission to end cancer,” said Peter WT Pisters, M.D., president of MD Anderson. “By collaborating with a broad range of committed community members, organizations and other stakeholders and by prioritizing a definitive investment in public health, Be Well Acres Homes has the potential to help create positive, long-lasting change in people’s lives.”

MD Anderson’s new Strategy calls for reaching more people, and part of this involves partnering with others to promote cancer prevention in the community setting, an aim that will be accomplished through Be Well Acres Homes. In its first two years, Be Well Acres Homes aims to build sustainable food systems and increase access to healthy food, improve spaces for physical activity, create a network of community and school-based gardens, and provide culturally-adapted nutrition education.

The Be Well Acres Homes action plan was developed with and for the community, in alignment with the Houston Complete Communities initiative, a City of Houston program focused on bridging the gap between equity and opportunity in 10 historically under-resourced neighborhoods, including Acres Homes.

“Complete Communities is the signature initiative of my administration and is focused on creating the road map to economic opportunity, deep community investment and improved health across our region,” City of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “The vitality of our city and the health of our community are everyone’s responsibilities, especially in neighborhoods where opportunity is not equal. MD Anderson’s demonstrated commitment to lead in a highly collaborative, community-minded way is a model for our city. We are thrilled for this social impact initiative with MD Anderson and look forward to advancing this effort in Acres Homes.”

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