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Getting healthy in one of America's unhealthiest cities

Posted: 4:20 PM, Oct 16, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-16 20:20:33Z

It's known for its Motown classics and American Cars, but Detroit is also known for its staggering stats of smokers, disease and obesity. The city is one of the unhealthiest cities in the U.S.

Mike MakCool, co-founder of Slow Roll Detroit, had the idea to start this group seven years ago. It started with just a few people, but quickly grew to about 5 to 6,000 riders each week.

The mission is to bring people together and promote healthy activity.

However, outside this effort, there’s not a whole lot promoting a healthy lifestyle in this community.

What are local leaders doing to move community health to the top of the list?
the top of the list. 

Dr. Joeneigh Khaldune, the city's health director, says through neighborhood programs, education and outreach, they're starting to create more health and health care options for residents.

“We actually have a program called ‘Sister Friends Detroit’ and it's really simple,” says Khaldune. “We get the pregnant mom a ride through Lyft to their prenatal appointments.”

New services like Health Hotlines and bike shares stations are being put in place.
Khaldune says those initiatives are priority, especially for a place where income levels are low. 

“Unfortunately, when you're living in poverty, it's even harder to meet those basic needs, Khaldune says.

"We're all working together to make sure Detroit'ers can be as healthy as possible.”

When it comes to the real champions for change, many in Detroit say all you have to do is look at the people.

Healthy changes may come at a slower pace here, but those who call this city home, know anything is possible.

"I wouldn't say we're an unhealthy city, we're just working on it," says MakCool.