Live HealthSmart Alabama, the UAB initiative of the Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center, is on a transformational journey to make good health simple.

Through a focus on sustainable outreach programs targeting healthy eating, physical activity, and health screening/education, Live HealthSmart Alabama is committed to encouraging a shift in how people think about their health and wellbeing.

Naturally, with a program as broad and encompassing as Live HealthSmart Alabama’s, the need for support from invested community partners is vital to ensuring long-term success and increased community buy-in. When Live HealthSmart Alabama sent out the call for sponsors, corporations and organizations devoted to improving health in Birmingham answered—one of which being UAB affiliate, VIVA.

Partner spotlight

“At VIVA, we are more interested in improving health outcomes for our members than our bottom line,” says Cardwell Feagin, D.Sc., chief operating officer at VIVA HEALTH, a major insurance provider in the state.

When the opportunity to join with Live HealthSmart Alabama presented itself, VIVA looked at ways their company could best contribute. They quickly zeroed in on the Mobile Wellness Van for its ability to serve as “an entryway into a complex healthcare system,” says Tara Bryant, M.D., chief medical officer at VIVA.

Having recognized the documented correlation between good nutrition and better health, VIVA was able to identify preventive health screenings as an area of interest. The Mobile Wellness Van gives VIVA the ability to support important work in their community by improving the health of their insured population, while also extending interest into healthy habits beyond current enrollees.

“The Mobile Wellness Van gets people the care that they need in an environment that meets their needs, which is especially important when people don’t have reliable access to transportation,” explained Bryant. “It makes health approachable.”

Importantly, Bryant pointed out that VIVA’s work to address the needs of its patients and community is one of relational importance: “Our community presence is very important — we are not a United or Humana. We live, work and go to the doctor and church and school like everyone else. All of our employees are living and working in Alabama.”

Thus, by teaming up with Live HealthSmart Alabama, VIVA is able to have a more direct impact in the health care journeys of its patients and of the Birmingham community.