Quest for Health Equity (Q4HE) and several Quest employees participated in an Earth Day weekend community event with the Black Church Food Security Network; an association of congregations, farmers, food advocates, and community activists working together to create an alternative food system in the Baltimore metropolitan area. Q4HE is a multi-year initiative of Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX) and the Quest Diagnostics Foundation, focused on providing a combination of donated testing services, education programs, partnerships, and funding to support initiatives to close the gap in healthcare disparities in underserved communities.
The Earth Day celebrations in Baltimore included no cost health screenings from Quest, community gardening, healthy cooking demos and more. Held at Shiloh Baptist Church in Baltimore County, nearly 40 percent of the event’s attendees participated in the Blueprint for Wellness screenings, putting them on a path to better health. Q4HE also took a survey of community members’ social determinants of health to gather insights for future programs.
“The Black Church Food Security Network and Quest Diagnostics share a commitment to holistic health and community empowerment,” said Rev. Dr. Heber Brown, III, Executive Director of the Black Church Food Security Network. “The Quest employees who participated in our event felt like extended family members. They were professional and relational in a way that made it easy for community members of all ages to participate in the health screenings.”
The event was focused on sustainability, health, and wellness for the Baltimore community with yoga instruction, healthy cooking, and composting demonstrations. Attendees also participated in yoga and tai chi instruction and received indoor plant buds to bring home with them.
“This was the first time that Q4HE engaged in any programming with the Black Church Food Security Network in one of our new communities of focus—Baltimore,” said Stacey Ingram, Senior Manager for Networked Initiatives, Quest for Health Equity. “We hoped for 10% of the attendees to opt in for a full wellness screening with a blood draw and our expectations were exceeded. I believe that the authenticity and caring engagement of the Quest volunteers and staff helped us to connect with this community. The volunteers enabled us to make a great first impression.”