Better Health is a local organization that is dedicated to helping Cumberland County residents attain a healthier lifestyle. 

“Better Health was founded to help address the unmet healthcare needs of Cumberland County residents through education, referral and assistance. We work closely with many other agencies in town to ensure that we can help our community stay healthy,” explained Amy M. Navejas, the new executive director of Better Health. 

“Our clients run the gamut from those in financial hardship who had an unexpected need for medication to professors wanting to learn more about managing their diabetes.” 

On Aug. 29, Better Health is set to host its second annual Diabetes…Dodge It! Dodgeball Tournament as a means of raising operating funds.

Navejas began as the new executive director on July 1, and quickly immersed herself into her new role. She has a personal connection with some of the programs, so passion for her work came naturally. 

“I love our diabetes program. My father has Type I diabetes and was diagnosed at 13 years of age, so I grew up being taught the signs of blood glucose problems. I also saw my father manage his diabetes very well and he is living a very normal, healthy life with diabetes. Seeing others learn to do the same and go from a daunting diagnosis to new found confidence is very rewarding,” she said.

“I have a true passion for children. Our Eat Smart, Move More program is phenomenal,” she continued. “We go to local schools, camps and after school care programs to teach healthy eating habits and exercise. The kids love it! We just can’t underestimate the importance of engaging kids in healthy lifestyle choices and the preventative impact that has. I love seeing the kids practicing tai chi poses and trying new veggies!”

Staying healthy and having fun all come together in the Better Health second annual Diabetes…Dodge It! Dodgeball Tournament. Proceeds from the tournament benefit the Better Health diabetes program, which includes clinics three days a week as well as educational and exercise classes. 

For those unfamiliar with the game, Navejas provided insight noting, “Each team has six players and up to three alternates. Each team will play at least two matches. Each match has three games. The winner of the match is the best two out of three. Now if one team wins the first two games, the third game is not played. Each game can last five minutes, but typically that does not occur.”

Another benefit to the tournament is that it provides a fresh new perspective on fitness; one that is far more approachable and fun. 

“It’s an amazing, fun opportunity for everyone to be active! Exercise can be fun — think outside the box. Being fit doesn’t have to be running marathons and doing sit ups. That can be daunting for some people. Exercise can be at any level and for all ages. Most importantly, it can be fun!” Navejas said. 

The tournament is on Aug. 29 at 9 a.m. at the Freedom Courts Sportsplex located at 3126 Gillespie St. For more information or to register, visit http://betterhealthcc.org/forms.html or call 910-483-7534. Teams must register by Aug. 15 and team members must be 14 and older. The registration fee is $100 per team. There are also sponsorship opportunities available.

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