(May 10, 2018)—The Chattanooga chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) recently hosted a Nutrition and Sleep Seminar at the Chattanooga Civic Center at Mountainside (formerly, the Piney Woods Family Resource Center).
The April 28 event featured presentations from Dr. Anuj Chandra about sleep health and from Allison Hoffman on proper eating habits. Presentations were followed by a panel discussion.
“The information presented at this seminar was very well-received and relevant to our purpose,” said Dr. Elenora Woods, NAACP Chattanooga Hamilton County Branch President. “Not only do we focus on socioeconomic justice and ensuring equality, we promote the advancement of members of this community by empowering them with education and resources.”
Dr. Woods is a Chattanooga dentist who has served as the NAACP Chattanooga Hamilton County Branch President since January 2015. She has been the Executive Director of the Alton Park Development Corporation since 2011. The two non-profit organizations have worked collaboratively in the development of the Chattanooga Civic Center services.
Events such as the health seminar are opportunities for members of the community to receive applicable information from experts. Dr. Woods felt that this symposium was particularly pertinent, as both nutrition and sleep affect the lives of everyone, regardless of age or health status.
Sleep Problems and Healthy Sleep
Dr. Anuj Chandra, Founder and Medical Director of the Advanced Center for Sleep Disorders (ACSD), delivered a presentation about some common sleep problems, including sleep apnea, insomnia, and restless leg syndrome. He discussed how daytime sleepiness can be a symptom of underlying sleep disorders. Dr. Chandra also provided healthy sleep tips to improve sleep quality.
“Part of my mission is to educate people about sleep health beyond the doors of my clinic,” said Dr. Chandra. “I believe events such as these allow health professionals to reach people who might otherwise lack access to medical specialists.”
The Importance of Proper Nutrition
Alison Hoffmann, Hamilton County Extension Program Assistant for the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, spoke about nutrition. According to its website, the purpose of the Expanded Food & Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) is to help limited-income families and youth acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behavior changes necessary to maintain nutritionally sound diets and promote personal development in hopes that all Tennesseans will form healthy eating habits that result in optimal health. In addition to serving the rural community, EFNEP continues to expand in order to meet the challenges facing a more urban audience. All of the services and many of the programs offered by Extension are free to county residents. Ms. Hoffmann also provided resources, tips to eating healthy on a budget, and recipes.
The Chattanooga Civic Center at Mountainside is located at 701 Hooker Road. Once the site of Piney Woods Elementary School, a segregated school for “Colored Children Only,” it is now a haven for the community. The Center provides job training, GED programming, arts and cultural programs, and a computer station with internet access. There is also an on-site Mercy Dental Clinic, banquet hall, playground, and community garden. The expansion of services to include the Early Childhood Development and Educational Academy for ages 0 to 4 is in progress. The Center recently launched its own radio station, 100.1 FM WPTP Power To The People.