At Rainier Health & Fitness, we’re people who care for our neighbors’ health. We recognize, however, that we’re not alone in caring for others’ health needs; South Seattle is dotted with a variety of organizations filled with people who care about the health of our neighborhood. We view Rainier Health & Fitness as simply one extension of the care network within the Rainier Valley.
When we imagine a healthy neighborhood, we don’t expect that everyone is healthy necessarily; rather, we envision a community equipped to care for those who either are not healthy or who currently aren’t at their best health. Everyone works together to provide holistic care for those in need: physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual. Working together creates a sort of woven basket that expresses to those who need care most, “we’ve got you” so that no one falls through the cracks. So that means doctors and nurses and receptionists at a clinic know the trainers at a fitness center who know vendors at a local farmer’s market and physical therapists. Specialists know the general practitioner doctors. As a result, the greater community benefits and grows healthier, tighter and closer together so that when someone does fall short or sick or needs support, they don’t fall too far because of the “woven” connection.
When we think of a healthy neighborhood, we envision people walking from place to place when they don’t have to, and valuing exercise. A healthy community would also provide access to nutritious food and not just to convenience. Convenience is different from access. The Rainier Valley, for example, has many convenience stores with chips and candy but access to the things that create better health all around would demonstrate a healthy community. In a healthy neighborhood, you could go on any corner and buy things that are meant to make you healthy, such as from an affordable Farmer’s Market. Or you could grow and harvest food yourself from a pea patch or community garden. And you could easily walk the streets to get your exercise because everyone would be doing that. Your neighbors would all go to a gym and everyone would be healthy, going out of their way to exercise, whether it’s to our gym or another—hopefully it’s RHF!
At Rainier Health & Fitness we’re working with networks of organizations and institutions filled with people who genuinely care to see this vision become a reality. From helping birth the idea of an affordable pediatric clinic that became Hope Central to providing a parking lot for BikeWorks bikemobile, from developing a WEL program to partner with health clinics such as NeighborCare to hosting ROAR’s mobile produce stand, we at RHF are committed to the totality of health for our neighbors. Our South Seattle community can be healthy not simply because of RHF’s presence, but from all of us working together.