Our Patients Are “Getting Fit and Eating Healthy for Life, Not Just for the Summer”

Matthews Free Medical Clinic is dedicated to providing health education for our patients. This summer, with the help of one of our summer interns, we were able to offer a Healthy Living educational program at the clinic. herb garden.jpg

Morgan Poole, a Graduate Intern from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, led a 5-week Summer Wellness Program, “Get Fit and Eat Healthy for Life, Not Just for the Summer.” The three main objectives of the course were a Gardening Project, a Physical Activity component, and a Nutrition Education component. Patients were given homework throughout the program and were encouraged to come up with a health goal they would like to fulfill and continue working on through the program and beyond. The overall goal for the program was for patients to take control of their health and to make necessary changes to improve their overall wellness. Patients now have a better understanding of controlling portion sizes, how to prepare healthier meals, the importance of eating more fruits and vegetables, the benefits of eating at home versus eating out, planning before grocery shopping, how to increase their physical activity daily, and many more topics! They also planted an herb and vegetable garden at the clinic that they will tend and harvest to help with their healthy eating plan. One patient was even inspired to plant her own vegetable garden at home!

Here is what some of our patients had to say about the program:

“It gave me the kick start I needed to get back on track with daily exercise and healthy eating.”

“It helped me to improve my goals and expectations; and the recipes, handouts, instructions, and class participation was a big step toward a healthier me.”

“This program has proven to me that I am capable of setting goals and reaching and maintaining them. Now I will continue to do something I never did before… garden. I am proud of my little plants!”

fresh produce chart

This handouts was given out during Week 1’s Lesson: “Let Food Be Your Medicine” encouraging patients to buy fresh produce in season.



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