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The "V" Team
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DCI Meharry
935 21st Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37208
The Event
"The Garden and Beyond". We will create 10 to 15 sites to grow vegetables and/or herbal gardens.
Location & Address
Farmers' Market, 900 Rosa Parks Blvd, Nashville, TN 37208
The days of service have arrived. Who would have imagined the impact of our efforts when we started this project? Our concept was introduced to those we serve, our families, and friends and to the community via the best form of advertising, word of mouth. Before we knew it, we had ten community sites that spanned the city. We partnered with TSU, the 18th Ave. Enrichment Center, Marathon Fitness Center & 7 other locations to create community gardens to promote awareness & prevention of chronic kidney disease. Our concept was developed to stress the value of vegetables and herbs on the body, vitality on the human life style, vitamins for health and wellness and the value of being economically wise by planting herbs and vegetables near home or businesses. Each community project provided an avenue to introduce many to DCI and to our Act of Service. The designer T-shirts & educational booklets laid out the ā€œVā€ Team concept of vegetables, vitamins, vitality, & value from which the DCI/Meharry unit would operate from the next few months. We provided printed materials educating on populations that are at risk for CKD, how CKD can be prevented, & how incorporating the ā€œVā€ Team concept into ones daily life can help promote health & wellness for anyone. Our main publication design was created by one of very our patients which we proudly displayed on the cover and in our lobby. As one approaches the DCI/Meharry facility, you can see our project is literally in full bloom with a herb garden in the front and a vegetable garden in the back. There was an overwhelming response of volunteers including our patients who donated their time & energy, and many stores such as Home Depot that provided free and/or discounted items as they joined in our efforts. One of our local high schools, Glencliff, decided to develop a wall garden, which will provide produce throughout this year & the upcoming years for our patients. The students and staff from their school of culinary arts have incorporated learning how to prevent CKD within their health curriculum. As a direct influence of partnering with DCI and other community partners, Glencliff was awarded the 2011 Community Schools National Award for Excellence for providing engaging lessons for 1,300 students. As a result of this award, DCI received press in The Tennessean and the Metro School Publication. The days of planting & initial harvesting were exciting and the volunteers were plentiful, but as the hot summer days wore on, it certainly required love and a dedicated effort as weeds needed to be pulled & vegetables needed to be harvested. We encountered too much rain, not enough rain, dogs trampling our freshly planted plot, the once every 13 year cicadas, beetles, rabbits & birds. It certainly reminded us of the barriers that our patients can run into. In some ways, it connected us with them even more. Through it all, we were able to provide a large harvest with a two day clinic site celebration where we enjoyed grilled vegetable kabobs, chicken and fresh herbs with plenty of renal friendly recipes. The patients seemed to enjoy our efforts and have shown their dedication to following a renal friendly diet by helping us meet our phosphorus and potassium goals for the past 2 months. We were also able to provide staff, friends, churches and those that enter our facility with the produce from our garden. There is no doubt we accomplished our goal of bridging the gap between the needs of the community, while providing services & education that enhance quality of life.
Date & Time
April 15, 2011, 10:00 AM
For More Information
Lucille Lewis at DCI Meharry (615) 327-3984 ext 205

Full details and program guidelines are posted on www.dciinc.org and the DCI intranet. Acts of Service must be coordinated by DCI employees. All DCI employees are welcome to participate. * Award money received from winning the online competition for "Best Act of Service" is to be used for DCI clinic educational purposes. For example: Paying for staff education courses, funding Pre-ESRD courses, or to purchase educational items to be used in the clinic.

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