Locally born and bred, Healthy New Albany is a non-profit organization that was designed to promote and embrace healthy living. We offer a variety of health-based community programs and events, a farmers market, food pantry, health magazine, and community garden. All of these offerings are funded by our generous donors and our races.
It all began in 2003 when a group of individuals who sought to improve their health began to meet regularly for walks along the scenic trails in New Albany. The idea of walking for health was the spark that ignited a movement, one that gave birth to one of the most innovative and comprehensive wellness initiatives in the country that eventually became known as Healthy New Albany
Healthy New Albany began as a grassroots movement that developed organically. Dr. Phil Heit, a professor emeritus at The Ohio State University, health advocate, and New Albany resident was instrumental in paving the way to create a culture of health. After creating the New Albany Walking Classic, Heit believed that health was ready for a remarkable surge that could impact the lives of every resident in New Albany, serve as a community wellness model and be replicated locally and nationally. Heit met with Craig Mohr, President of the New Albany Community Foundation, and they convened a group of community volunteers who wanted to promote a culture of health in a manner not previously attempted. From that meeting, the idea of having a farmers market, community garden, educational lectures and more was borne and Healthy New Albany evolved, officially achieving nonprofit status in 2010.
North America’s largest competitive and noncompetitive walking event evolved into a plethora of wellness programs for individuals and families as well as those in the learning and business communities. Whether addressing chronic health concerns such as cancer or heart disease, behavioral health matters, Integrative wellness initiatives or programs for youth and community elders, the Healthy New Albany impact is significant as well as continually evolving.
Today, the Philip Heit Center for Healthy New Albany serves as the epicenter for health promotion efforts in New Albany, thanks to support from a number of entities working together to establish wellness as a pillar of the community. The Heit Center would not exist were it not for the generosity, collaboration, and concern for the residents of the community by the New Albany Company and the City of New Albany who participated in acquiring the land and constructing the Center. Presently, The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center Health and Fitness Center, along with Nationwide Children’s Hospital, collaborate within the Heit Center alongside Healthy New Albany to deliver health programs and services that serve as a model to be emulated.