Resolutions: Keep moving, advises Dr. Jeff Heck

Dr. Jeff Heck, CEO of Mountain Area Health Education Center

“The top health challenges for WNC are the same that all of America has,” says Dr. Jeff Heck, CEO of the Mountain Area Health Education Center. “That’s the need for increased physical activity, the need for controlling obesity, eliminating smoking and substance abuse.” MAHEC trains the next generation of health care professionals in WNC.

But Heck points out that many other factors also have a significant impact on WNC residents’ health outcomes. These challenging social determinants, he says, “have to do with racial inequities, access to care in rural communities and other contributors like transportation and child care. If we could solve some of those, it would make for healthier families, and we’d need a lot less health care.”

Despite all those challenges, however, Heck’s top piece of advice for how to have a happier and healthier new year is pretty simple. “I tell my patients there’s not a pill I could give them that would be better than regular exercise.”

SHARE
About Kim Dinan
Kim Dinan is a freelance writer and author of The Yellow Envelope. She lives in WNC with her husband and daughter. Follow me @kimdinan

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.