Healthy Minds Initiative receive National Academy of Medicine award for work on brain health in African American faith-based organizations

Our partnership with Crenshaw Christian Center (CCC)

Healthy Minds Initiative (HMI) have partnered with Crenshaw Christian Center (CCC) in Los Angeles on one of the most important and innovative brain health research programs in the United States.

 We at HMI believe this project is going to change the landscape of brain health forever, especially in communities historically impacted by double the prevalence of dementia and stroke.

with gratitude to:

Crenshaw Christian Center

CCC is multi-generational, multi-cultural, yet predominantly African American church in Los Angeles with whom we’re working on innovative community-oriented brain health programs.

with gratitude to:

National Academy of Medicine

Our partnership with CCC was made possible with support from the National Academy of Medicine, who awarded us a 2021 Innovator Award.

What is Healthy Minds Initiative?
Healthy Minds Initiative is an evidence-based program that supports communities on their path to brain health. Starting with local faith-based groups and community centers, Dean and Ayesha began to investigate how communities could be empowered to make healthy lifestyle changes. They looked at how technology could play a role in outreach, habit forming, and intervention, and found that involving the community through the entire process – from investigation, to research, to intervention – empowered people to make significant lifestyle changes. Ultimately, these changes can significantly reduce diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes, and dementia.

How do we work with communities?

Healthy Minds Initiative partners with communities to implement culturally-relevant and accessible healthy lifestyle choices in the areas of: Eating, Movement, Sleep Optimization, Relaxation, and Learning. We meet leaders to discuss the strengths, priorities, and resources of their communities, and reach out to people through virtual and in-person talks to guide them towards better brain health in a personally-tailored way. We also train coaches and chefs in how to align their work with brain-healthy practices and sustainable, positive lifestyle habits, so they can pass this vital knowledge onto others in a practical way.

About the HMI × CCC project

Innovative and revolutionary

This collaboration is a first-of-its-kind project in terms of community-based participatory research. It combines our medical backgrounds with CCC’s community structure to enable direct outreach and impact.

The future of brain health

Our research program will create permanent systems and sustainable infrastructure for long-term change. CCC’s coaches and chefs are making it possible, and our donors and volunteers are helping every step of the way.

International ambition

Partnering with CCC is just the start. This work can be expanded upon nationally and globally. Our vision is to drive research into brain health in under-represented communities the world over, decentralizing an historically-limited and singularly-focused area of study.

Chefs

Chefs from the CCC community who have trained in the Healthy Minds Initiative program understand that healthy food choices are a key component for improved brain health. CCC chefs will share creative recipe ideas in fun and easily-adaptable ways, with consideration of individual cooking methods, favored ingredients, and traditional festivities. Food isn’t just a way for us to connect with one another — it’s a core element of brain-healthy living!

Coaches

Coaches from the CCC community who have trained with Healthy Minds Initiative have the knowledge and tools to support those they work with in a loving and empathetic environment. Coaches recognize that everyone is at different stages when it comes to brain health. They’ll be accessible to anyone needing assistance, whether it’s to stay on track, get inspired, celebrate successes, or even support you and cheer you on when you’ve perhaps made a choice not so beneficial to your brain health. It’s okay, it happens! And that’s what CCC community coaches are for — they’ll be there to remind you that tomorrow is a new day, and that you won’t be alone on this journey.

HMI at CCC on January 8th, 2023

Doctors Ayesha and Dean Sherzai from Healthy Minds Initiative were invited to speak at Crenshaw Christian Center on January 8th, 2023.

If you weren’t able to watch the talk live — or if you want to see it again! — watch the video and scroll through the presentation below. You can also download the presentation here.

This video features the part of the service during which Dr. Frederick K. Price introduces the Drs. Sherzais for their discussion on the importance of brain health at the community level.

You can also watch the full service here.

Next event: January 29th, 2023

On January 29th, 2023, Drs. Sherzais will conduct a second talk with the Crenshaw Christian Center community.

Immediately after the talk, CCC will hold a Community Brain Health Fair: an extension of all that has been discussed at both talks, which will include an introduction to the community resources that are available to help you in your journey towards optimal brain health!

Sign up below to be reminded about the event.

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