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Newport Health Equity Zone named Champion in Action

The Newport Health Equity Zone was awarded a $35,000 grant from Citizens Bank. It will also receive promotional support on NBC 10. (WJAR)

NBC 10 Cares about creating healthier communities.

Our newest Citizens Bank NBC 10 Champion in Action is doing just that.

This time, we're recognizing a collaborative effort.

The Newport Health Equity Zone was awarded a $35,000 grant from Citizens Bank. It will also receive promotional support on NBC 10.

The organizations involved work to make the community a healthier place to live.

"A person's health should not be determined by his or her zip code," Dr. Nicole Alexander Scott of the Rhode Island Department of Health said.

The backbone of the Newport Health Equity Zone is a domestic violence prevention group, Women's Resource Center.

"What's so great about this particular project is that it's all about prevention," Lori DiPersio of the Women's Resource Center said. "We know that when we get neighbors to know each other, we know violence goes down in the neighborhoods, and we know that because of this, domestic violence goes down."

The Newport Health Equity Zone focuses on different areas that promote good health.

One working group is education, innovation and economic opportunity, led by FabNewport, which runs a 3D printing camp.

Another is Open Space, which is led by the Aquidneck Land Trust. They create beautiful community gardens.

The other member organizations are Bike Newport, Martin Luther King Jr. Center, Arts and Cultural Alliance, and Boys and Girls Club of Newport County.

"We wanted to work with very local, small, grassroots organizations that have a strong presence in the health equity zone, so in the North End and off Broadway parts of Newport," Health Equity Zone Project Coordinator Olivia Kachingwe said.

One of the key components of the Health Equity Zone in Newport is the involvement of people who live there. In addition to the member organizations, they have 12 resident consultants, including Latisha Michel. She said being part of the Health Equity Zone is empowering.

"It builds the community," she said. "It allows us to be able to support each other."

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