Tri-County residents focus of UMES health program | University of Maryland Eastern Shore Marketing Retarget Pixel

Tri-County residents focus of UMES health program

  • Dr. Virginie ZoumenouPRINCESS ANNE, MD- (June 8, 2020)- Creating “healthier, more sustainable places to live, work and play” across the country is the goal of the Well Connected Communities Initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  Under the leadership of Dr. Virginie Zoumenou, 1890 Nutrition and Health Programs director, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore is the recipient of a $65,000 WAVE 2 competitive WCC sub-grant to continue its efforts to “initiate the culture of health” in the Tri-County area.

    Three communities on the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland (Fruitland, Pocomoke and Princess Anne-Eden) were selected for the initiative.  They are among 45 communities across 15 states committed to the project.  During the initial grant period, WAVE 1, a community health assessment was conducted, Zoumenou said.  Action plans were then developed in each municipality under the leadership of a multi-sector health council and in partnership with youth and adults.

    UMES’ team helped guide three community-driven projects during WAVE 1 (2017-19):  Healthy Street-Healthy Me, Make Fruits Available to All, and Reading and Group Therapy Garden, Zoumenou said. 

    “The WAVE 2 project will not only continue the activities in the first initiative, it will also develop further action plans that will help community members strengthen certain skills,” Zoumenou said.  “We believe that increasing skills in home gardening, waste management and food preservation may help improve their food decision-making process and their well-being.”  WCC

    “The results of the Well Connected Communities WAVE 1 initiative and the focus of WAVE 2 are important steps toward sustainable projects. By taking ownership of these projects, area residents would be more invested in better health equity activities in each of the communities,” Zoumenou said.

    Gail Stephens, agricultural communications and media associate, School of Agricultural & Natural Sciences, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, 410-621-3850,