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B-CU Named Partner for National Healthy Community Grant

Bethune-Cookman University has been named a partner with the Volusia County Health Department in a new program to help make Daytona Beach a healthier place to live.

Supported by the Center for Disease Control’s Healthy Community Programs, the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) announced that Daytona Beach has been selected to become part of Action Communities for Health, Innovation, and EnVironmental ChangE (ACHIEVE) as one of 40 communities awarded by national partners who work together on ACHIEVE.

Daytona BEACH (Best Environment for Active Community Health) applied for this program and was selected after a competitive review process. The $64,000 in funding will enhance local efforts to create a coalition to focus on healthy lifestyles in the Daytona Beach community.

ACHIEVE is a partnership between local communities and national and state organizations joined in a movement to create healthier places to live, work and play. NACDD, along with the National Association of County and City Health Officials, the National Recreation and Park Association, and the YMCA of the USA all partnered to fund 40 communities in 24 states to become part of ACHIEVE, an aggressive social movement that is mobilizing leaders in local communities to respond to the public health challenge of obesity, physical inactivity, and poor nutrition.

"We are so excited about this great partnership as part of such a valuable new community program,” said Dr. Alma Dixon, executive director of health equity at Bethune-Cookman University’s Odessa Chambliss Wellness Center. "Our neighbors here in Daytona Beach are in dire need of this movement to extend their lifespan and improve the overall quality of their lives.”  
Through ACHIEVE, partners work together to change policies that make the healthy choice the easy choice.  ACHIEVE brings together concerned citizens who take a holistic approach to creating healthy communities for this and future generations, and provides local leaders with technical assistance to empower communities to take local action to solve specific health problems. Community leaders use a strategic approach to put policies in place that address physical activity, nutrition, tobacco cessation, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, and improve access to places that support people in becoming and staying healthier.

"A coalition will work together to create tobacco-free environments, improve access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and support safe neighborhood parks, playgrounds and multi-use trails for physical activity for youth,” said Dr. Bonnie J. Sorensen, director of the Volusia County Health Department.

In addition to the Volusia County Health Department and Bethune-Cookman University, the committed partners include One Voice for Volusia, Volusia-Flagler Family YMCA, and the City of Daytona Beach Leisure Services Department.

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About Bethune Cookman University:

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000.  For more information, visit

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