Baylor Scott & White Health, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and City of Dallas Join Efforts to Combat Diabetes

Healthy Cities initiative launches at three Dallas recreation centers

A community-based pilot program offered at three Dallas recreation centers promotes healthy behaviors among those who may be at risk for diabetes and other chronic illnesses.

Baylor Scott & White Health, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and the City of Dallas Park and Recreation Department are collaborating on the Healthy Cities initiative. The 10-week program led by community health workers includes on-going follow up with participants.

Healthy Cities, provided at no charge, is offered at Anita N. Martinez Recreation Center, Cummings Recreation Center and Samuell-Grand Recreation Center. The program builds on the accomplishments of the Baylor Scott & White Health and Wellness Center at Juanita J. Craft Recreation Center, which opened in 2010 and has seen success with diabetes and healthy behaviors education for southern Dallas residents.

About 29 million people in the United States suffer from diabetes. About one of every 12 Dallas-area adults has been diagnosed with diabetes, and another three have pre-diabetes. Healthy Cities is designed to help North Texans manage pre-diabetes, diabetes and other chronic illnesses and to teach participants about healthy eating.

The program's first six weeks teach participants about making healthy lifestyle choices. The remaining four weeks focus on the cooking and nutrition aspects of healthy living. Additional highlights of the program include:

  • On-site farm stands with fresh produce (open to the public)
  • Collaboration with the City of Dallas Park and Recreation Department to offer recreation and physical activity programs
  • Text reminders to participants about healthy lifestyle tips, tools and resources.

"This program is a natural extension for us as a health system that is focused on wellness and keeping people healthy," said Joel Allison, president and chief executive officer, Baylor Scott & White Health. "We know that a healthy diet and regular exercise are key to disease prevention and management, and we're grateful to be collaborating with United Way and the City of Dallas on this important initiative to equip people with the tools to make positive changes in their health. It is another example of our commitment to population health."

"A strong community is a healthy one," said Jennifer Sampson, McDermott-Templeton President and CEO of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. "At United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, we look for programs that build physical vigor and emotional resilience. The Healthy Cities initiative will have tangible and immediate impact on the health of community members, particularly those at risk of or battling diabetes, and we are very happy to be part of it."

"We continually look for opportunities to collaborate with health and wellness organizations as part of our efforts to generate healthy and active lifestyles throughout our communities. Recreational activities, along with nutrition education, are vital in creating active citizens and livable communities. It is our goal to offer quality recreation programs within the city of Dallas that will improve and enhance the overall well-being of our community members," said Crystal R. Ross, Assistant Director, City of Dallas Park and Recreation Department.

Following the completion of the current programs, new 10-week programs will launch quarterly at each of the three locations. The program will be delivered in English or Spanish based on the needs of the community and audience.

For more information about participation in the Healthy Cities initiative, please contact Ashley Hutto at 214-915-3218.

About United Way of Metropolitan Dallas: United Way of Metropolitan Dallas brings people together to improve lives and create lasting change here in North Texas by focusing on education, income, and health – the building blocks for strong families and thriving communities. We galvanize and connect all sectors of society – individuals, businesses, non-profits, and government – to create long-term change through investing in solutions that produce healthy, well-educated and financially stable individuals and families. We raise, invest and leverage over $50M annually in community-focused solutions serving Dallas, Collin, Rockwall and southern Denton counties. We do more than help one person beat the odds – we are changing the odds for entire communities. Together, we UNITE FOREVER. To learn more, please visit

About Dallas Park and Recreation Department
Among the nation's largest urban park systems, the department champions lifelong recreation and serves as responsible stewards of the city's parks, trails, and open spaces. The department maintains 24,000 acres of park land and water including 379 parks, 100 miles of trails, athletic complexes, and natural areas. It also manages recreation centers, golf courses, community pools, tennis centers and family attractions including Bahama Beach Waterpark and Fair Park. Dallas Park and Recreation earned national accreditation in the field or parks and recreation from the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). For more information, visit


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About Baylor Scott & White Health
As the largest not-for-profit health system in the state of Texas, Baylor Scott & White promotes the health and well-being of every individual, family and community it serves. It is committed to making quality care more accessible, convenient and affordable through its integrated delivery network, which includes the Baylor Scott & White Health Plan, Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, the Baylor Scott & White Quality Alliance and its leading digital health platform – MyBSWHealth. Through 51 hospitals and more than 1,100 access points, including flagship academic medical centers in Dallas, Fort Worth and Temple, the system offers the full continuum of care, from primary to award-winning specialty care. Founded as a Christian ministry of healing more than a century ago, Baylor Scott & White today serves more than three million Texans. For more information, visit: