The Wayne State chapter of the Healthy Detroit organization is helping to bring the first HealthPark in the country to Detroit. Nicholas Mukhtar, a WSU alumnus, is the CEO and co-founder of the organization.
Healthy Detroit is a nonprofit organization dedicated to building a culture of healthy, active living in Detroit, and was formed in response to the U.S. Surgeon General's National Prevention Strategy. The park will open on Sept. 6.
Commissioned under the Affordable Care Act, the NPS provides advice on improving health and well-being of citizens. Healthy Detroit has been nationally recognized as the feature organization in the National Prevention Council’s 2014 Annual Status Report.
In 2013, WSU junior Tapinder Singh founded the WSU chapter of Healthy Detroit after meeting Mukhtar.
"Healthy Detroit aims to play a part in the renaissance of Detroit by instilling a culture of health and wellness. This is similar to how Wayne State has played an immense role in revitalizing the Midtown area of Detroit. It seemed like a natural fit to start a chapter here at Wayne State," said Singh, president of WSU’s Healthy Detroit chapter.
The WSU chapter has been participating in various health fairs in the city, mentoring Detroit youth in the Racquet Up Detroit after-school program, and planning the logistics of the park opening.
The concept of the HealthPark is to provide Detroit residents with a place that caters to all of their preventive health needs. The park will be divided into five zones: the Healthy Eating Zone, Healthy Minds Zone, Healthy Living Zone, Sports Zone and a Fitness Zone. These zones will include a farmers market, cooking classes, mental health programs, clinical preventive services, youth athletic programs, and adult and youth fitness classes like yoga, cardio and Pilates.
Volunteers, including WSU students from Healthy Detroit as well as medical, nursing and pharmacy school students will run the park.
The park will be open to residents during Healthy Detroit Saturdays, which will be held every Saturday starting Sept. 6 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Patton Park. There will be three alternating locations: Patton Park, Adams Butzel Park and Farwell Field. All three locations have recreation centers which will allow Healthy Detroit to provide programs to residents year round.
The HealthPark at Patton Park will be the first of seven district HealthParks planned, one in each city council district.