Chester, Pa. – The Widener Community Nursing Clinic was awarded a grant from the PNC Charitable Trust for $9,200 to implement educational programs focusing on cardiovascular health to the community. This is the third time the clinic received the grant since opening in 2011.

In order to reach the goal of supporting heart-healthy living, the Widener Community Nursing Clinic used the grant to put together a series of nutrition classes, as well as exercise programs and smoking cessation sessions for residents of Cityteam.

Last spring, Widener nursing students lead a number of nutritional classes for the residents of Cityteam.

In addition to the typical programming the clinic offers, the volunteers decided to earn fruits of their labor and work with the residents of Cityteam to build a garden.

Under the leadership of RitaAnn Robinson, a volunteer nurse practitioner at the Widener Community Nursing Clinic and alumna of the School of Nursing, and Daniel Costa, mission program coordinator at Cityteam, volunteers prepared and planted two large garden beds outside of Cityteam.

“It’s such a unique program, because we were able to have support for the garden from residents of Cityteam,” Ellen Boyda, director of the Widener University Nursing Clinic, said. “They helped plant seeds from the very beginning and were able to care for the garden all summer, and then enjoy the produce as part of their own meals.”

Over the summer residents of Cityteam planted vegetables and herbs, from eggplant and squash to basil and thyme. By the end of the summer they were able to harvest the results and use them for meals that serve the Cityteam community.

Boyda was happy to see the mission for the grant be implemented in such a unique way. “It was a success for the clinic to establish an educational plan to help the residents of Chester think more about healthy lifestyles and how they live and eat through real life,” she said.

Kwinn Tucker, director of Cityteam, agreed. “This is just another example of a great partnership Cityteam has with the Widener Community Nursing Clinic. It’s been a great value to for our residents to have a project like this to not only be a part of from the beginning, but also to benefit from in terms of building a healthier lifestyle.”