Healthy liv­ing takes life­long learn­ing


I re­cently had the op­por­tu­nity to speak to the first grad­u­ates of the Canyon Ranch In­sti­tute Life En­hance­ment Pro­gram (CRI LEP) in Sa­van­nah. They are all pa­tients of Cur­tis V. Cooper Pri­mary Health Care (CVCPHC), and had par­tic­i­pated in the 12-week pro­gram to learn about how they can make healthy choices for them­selves and their fam­i­lies.

I was proud and hum­bled to talk with them be­cause I ad­mire what they have ac­com­plished. Like them, I am also a stu­dent on a jour­ney to learn how to live longer and health­ier and to set a new stan­dard of good health with my fam­ily.

Hav­ing lived longer with a bet­ter qual­ity of life than my par­ents and most of my grand­par­ents, I un­der­stand what it’s like to over­come the fear of chronic ill­ness and dis­cover ways to ac­tu­ally pre­vent the dis­eases that cost us fi­nan­cially and emo­tion­ally.

The com­ple­tion of the first CRI LEP here in Sa­van­nah is just one ex­am­ple of the amaz­ing progress that’s been made since I be­gan talk­ing in earnest with Canyon Ranch In­sti­tute last year about pro­vid­ing an op­por­tu­nity for the people of Sa­van­nah to be­come “stu­dents of health.”

What’s ex­cit­ing to me is that CRI isn’t fo­cused on just one as­pect of health and well­ness. They are cham­pi­ons for the in­te­gra­tive ap­proach that re­minds us that health is com­prised of mind, body, spirit, and emo­tion. As a re­sult, CRI has put sev­eral projects into ac­tion in a short time here in Sa­van­nah, and we’re al­ready see­ing pos­i­tive re­sults.

In ad­di­tion to the CRI LEP, the newly cre­ated CRI Healthy Gar­den at the north­west cor­ner of Trustees’ Gar­den is just burst­ing with veg­eta­bles, herbs and flow­ers. On a reg­u­lar ba­sis, vol­un­teers ar­rive to tend the gar­den, learn about how to cre­ate gar­dens at their homes, and har­vest the bounty. Some ar­rive as strangers but ev­ery­one leaves as friends.

Now, that’s health lit­er­acy in ac­tion — people com­ing to­gether for a com­mon pur­pose and hav­ing fun while they’re at it.

In an­other area of Trustees’ Gar­den, we’ve iden­ti­fied the lo­ca­tion for a demon­stra­tion kitchen that will of­fer an­other learn­ing op­por­tu­nity. People will be able to watch an ex­pert chef cre­ate healthy, nu­tri­tious food.

And I can tell you from ex­pe­ri­ence, CRI will help us en­sure the recipes will taste great — no bland, bor­ing dishes for Sa­van­nah!

What I love about be­ing a life­long stu­dent of health is that it isn’t just about me. Yes, I’ve per­son­ally ben­e­fit­ted from what I’ve learned, but I’ve also met some as­tound­ing people who have shared their jour­neys with me. We learn from each other.

We can sup­port one an­other and re­joice in know­ing “I’m not the only one.” That’s why I al­ways tell people who are first start­ing down the path to be­ing health­ier to sur­round them­selves with like-minded people. It adds to the fun, too.

On the head­ing of this page is a de­scrip­tion of the Canyon Ranch In­sti­tute Sa­van­nah Part­ner­ship (CRISP). CRISP re­flects that idea of work­ing with like-minded people. Ini­tially, CRI was col­lab­o­rat­ing with Cur­tis V. Cooper Pri­mary Health Care. But in a very short time, the word spread about what was hap­pen­ing and other businesses and in­di­vid­u­als be­gan to ask how they could get in­volved.

That in­ter­est led to CRISP, and we con­tinue to in­vite ev­ery­one who is in­ter­ested in the ideas of preven­tion, in­te­gra­tive health, and a health­ier com­mu­nity to join us in this jour­ney to help­ing ev­ery­one in Sa­van­nah em­brace a life of well­ness.

How can we cre­ate a healthy change in Sa­van­nah? One per­son at a time. Each one tells one — or two or three or more. We’re build­ing a strong foun­da­tion through the CRI LEP, CRI Healthy Gar­den at Trustees’ Gar­den and CRISP. We’re gain­ing mo­men­tum, and I can’t wait to see what will hap­pen next.

Charles H. Mor­ris is a long-time Sa­van­nah res­i­dent and Pres­i­dent and CEO of Mor­ris Multimedia, the par­ent or­ga­ni­za­tion of Con­nect Sa­van­nah.


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