DaVita FA Educates and Encourages Her Local Community through Health Eating and Soul Food
Taste of Soul is the largest one-day ‘free’ street festival and event in all of L.A. city and county, with over 350,000 attendees on the legendary Crenshaw Blvd, which is 2 miles from where I grew up. The event takes place annually and features a taste of all things “soulful,” from local and international cuisine, to your favorite quick-eats that reflect a Black cultural experience, fused with diverse cultures and traditions. Renowned artists and legendary singers such as: Queen Latifah, Stevie Wonder and Brandy; not to mention Jessie Jackson and Congresswoman Maxine Waters.
Growing up in South Los Angeles, I have always been immersed in Black culture and soul food! From an early age, I remember helping my grandmother in the kitchen cooking baked turkey legs, collard greens, macaroni and cheese and biscuits and gravy. The smell alone will make anyone’s mouth water. It is because of this memory that caused me to be so excited when asked to participate in the Taste of Soul Family Festival. To hear that the company I worked for was a sponsor, for an event taking place in my community, made me fall in love with the DaVita Village all over again!
DaVita teammates set up a booth, at 5am! Seeing the commitment from the teammates who worked alongside me during the event was inspiring. Throughout the day, we educated the community on topics such as: hypertension, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and cooked up a healthy recipe of zucchini, black beans and rice. Teammates also offered face-painting, games and prizes for children. To my surprise, patients and visiting teammates stopped by to thank us for the work we were doing, not only in our centers but also within the community. To hear that people appreciated how much of an impact DaVita is making in the lives of those in the communities we serve is what warmed my heart the most.
I know first-hand how devastating diabetes plagues the Black community. My uncle passed away due to diabetic complications. Participating in this event, was a no-brainer. If I can educate one person about the signs and symptoms of these illnesses or reach children at an early age and educate them about adopting healthy eating habits, then I have made a significant contribution, on behalf of DaVita, and in memory of my loving uncle, Brice.
As a facility administrator, I am not one to just sit in my office and work on metrics all day. Instead, I get out onto the treatment floor and talk to my patients. I interact with them and ask them about what is going on in their life and how my team and I can help. I believe this is why it was so easy for me to talk to the thousands of festival attendees. I know my uncle was smiling down on me and I am grateful DaVita gave me this opportunity to give back to my community is such a special way. I believe that health education is vital in achieving significant changes in the lifestyles among chronic disease patients in my community’s demographic. As the saying goes, “Education is the best prevention!”