112515_red-apple-run.pngNot everyone has access to appropriate healthcare. Recognizing the gap between needs and services, Better Health has worked since 1958 to give Cumberland County residents the health services that they need. The non-profit organization focuses on diabetes management and education, childhood obesity prevention and education, loans for medical equipment and financial assistance for emergency medical needs. 

“Several of our programs are preventative and/or disease management, so results come over time. Our most immediately gratifying program is our Direct Aid program. Clients can come to our office in need of help purchasing an emergency medication, having a tooth extracted, travel assistance to a medical appointment in Chapel Hill, etc.,” Amy Navejas M.D., executive director of the organization, explained. “We verify their income information and can assist them the same day. With these clients, we are able to see the impact immediately. Many come to us in tears and leave with a sense of relief that their needs are being met.” 

In order to support its programs, Better Health relies on the community. One annual fundraiser is The Red Apple Run, which is set for Nov. 21. 

“Direct Aid, Diabetes Management and Childhood Obesity Prevention are funded through this run. Thanks to operational support from the United Way, the funds raised at the Red Apple Run can go directly towards helping our clients,” said Navejas.

For Navejas, the organization’s diabetes prevention program has a personal connection. “My father has Type I diabetes,” she explains, “While Better Health does much more than diabetes management, the cause hits close to home for me. I grew up having been taught about a healthy diet, the signs and symptoms of low and high blood sugar and what to tell EMS if I had to call 911 for my father. Working with Better Health allows me the chance to see others learn to manage their diabetes effectively and live their life to the fullest despite the complexities of the disease. It is very gratifying to see clients gain knowledge and confidence that they can manage this!” 

Though this is only the third year of the Red Apple Run the community support has been tremendous. Last year more than 400 runners participated in the event. 

Though diabetes education and prevention is the focus for the Red Apple Run, Better Health provides all kinds of healthcare programs and assistance. The organization offers free exercise classes, child obesity prevention and healthy cooking demonstrations to name just a few programs.

The Red Apple Run for Diabetes is on Nov. 21. The 10K starts at 8:30 a.m. and the 5K starts at 8:45 a.m. Registration is $25 at www.active.com/fayetteville-nc/running/distance-running-races/red-apple-run-for-diabetes-10k-and-5k-run-walk-2015. The races will begin at 101 Robeson St. For more information, visit www.betterhealthcc.org or call 910.483-7534.

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