Office for Institutional Wellness


map including Hollywood Heights

“Eat Right and Move” is a 3 Phase collaborative program that began in 2021 to measure the effects of physical activity and nutritional education on cardiovascular risk factors in the Hollywood Heights neighborhood.

Hollywood Heights is located on the western edge of the City of Shreveport in Caddo Parish, Louisiana. The community has been identified as an area with food and physical activity deserts.

98% Black
64.2% Income less than $25,000
85.4% High School degree or below
35% Residents receive food stamps & visit food pantries monthly for assistance

(shown in purple on the map)

Collaborative partners: LSU Health Shreveport, LSU Ag, and St. Mark’s Mobile Health Ministries.

In 2021, the program hosted health fairs in the Hollywood Heights neighborhood of Shreveport reaching 178 participants from the community. The health fairs included motivational interviews, health screenings, and cooking demonstrations. Data was collected at the events (BMI, Lipid Panel, A1C, Vitamin Panel, Fitbits / class attendance, Exercise Efficacy Scale, Quality of life scale, REAP Eating Assessment), along with interest in beginning an exercise program and participating in healthy cooking classes.

Bar graph: Obesity 89%, Strength 70%, Balance 69%




Phase 1 launched in 2021 with weekly (3 times per week) exercise classes and monthly cooking classes. We collected baseline measures for Blood Pressure, Body Mass Index, Lipid Panel, A1C, and C-reactive protein. In addition we collected Fitbit data, class attendance, REAP Nutritional Assess, SF 36 Quality of life scale and endurance and strength measures. These measures were collected again at the completion of the 6 month program.

  • BMI reduction:  70.8%
  • BP reduction:  66.6%
  • Leg strength improvement:  91.6%
  • Endurance improvement:  91.6%
  • Quality of Life Improvement:  83.3%
  • Nutrition Improvement:  83.3%
  • LDL cholesterol reduction:   58.3%
  • Triglycerides reduction:   50%
  • Inflammation reduction:   80%
  • A1C blood sugar improvement:  45.4%



Phase 2 launched in 2022 to determine if community health organizer (CHO) training could provide sustainability of our existing community-placed program. We trained 4 peer health mentors who completed Phase 1 to become CHO’s to take over the program and to specifically lead exercise and nutrition classes, assist in community outreach, and assist in setting goals for policy, system and environmental (PSE) changes that will make their site more conducive to healthy life-style choices for participants. Part of the grant money for Phase 2 included monthly stipends to the CHO’s to assist with their current economic challenges.

Results from phase 2 displayed increased growth in participants (see list of results) upon completion of the 6-month program from 3/21/2022 – 9/1/2022.


97% felt better after participating in the program.

  • Increased Stamina/Flexibility 31.2%
  • Generalized sense of feeling better 28.0%
  • Decreased Stress/Increase Social Wellness 12.5%
  • Weight loss 9.0%
  • 75% report increase in eating fruits
  • 66% report increase in eating vegetables
  • 34% report decrease in drinking sugary drinks
  • 78% report increase in exercising for at least 30 minutes daily
  • 84% report increase in making small deliberate changes to be more active
  • 81% report increase using the "Nutrition Facts" on food labels 
  • 41% report increase in making a list before going shopping



Phase 3 launched in 2023 to evaluate if establishing a community garden / marketplace, along with exercise and nutritional education performed in a community setting can improve leadership skills in trained CHOs to facilitate Policy, System, and Environmental (PSE) changes and continue to sustain the existing community-placed wellness program.

Program Objectives
  1. Establish and Maintain Community Garden 
    Outcome Measures:  Garden maintenance schedule and pounds of produce grown
  2. Establish and Maintain Marketplace
    Outcome Measures: Number of individuals in attendance, Data of servings of produce distributed
  3. Provide education and facilitate enhanced leadership skills through CHO training focusing on PSE changes and long-term program sustainability
    Outcome Measures: Faithful Families Survey, Focus Groups
  4. Increase CHO program participant intake and evaluation skills 
    Outcome Measures: Distribution and results of the following surveys given to program participants: Healthy Days Module Surveys, REAP Nutritional Assessment

Phase 3 also addresses the food desert problem in this community.  The program is a means to encourage the participants to not only learn how to cook in a healthier manner, but also allow access to produce for them and their families that is so vital for health.

female student helps older woman with balance by holding her hands

“Phase 3 of Eat Right and Move will tackle the environmental barrier of food deserts in this community. The grant funded program will add community garden beds and a marketplace to provide access to produce to the participants to facilitate better nutrition and improve health and wellness. It was wonderful to have our LSUHS students and residents on hand to have an open dialogue about health with the community.”
Dr. Marie Vazquez Morgan, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Institutional Wellness

Making a difference in our community as we