The New Orleans Health Department’s Fit NOLA Initiative Announces the September to December Healthy Heroes

NEW ORLEANS —The New Orleans Health Department’s Fit NOLA initiative, Whole Foods Market New Orleans, Humana and Athleta are proud to announce the Fit NOLA Healthy Heroes! They are:

Khater Salomon — September 2018 Healthy Hero​
Denali Lander — October 2018 Healthy Hero​
Sean Tate — November 2018 Healthy Hero​
Coretta LaGarde — December 2018 Healthy Hero​

A Healthy Hero is a New Orleanian dedicated to improving the physical and nutritional wellness of their community.​
September 2018 Healthy Hero “Coach” Khater Solomon brings miracles every time he volunteers with the senior citizens at the Kinship Center (formerly Uptown Shepherd’s Center). For example, people who previously hadn’t thrown or kicked a ball in years are setting their walkers aside to play volleyball! His kind demeanor and dynamic program have made real changes for our seniors’ health. Former Kinship Center director Kimberly VanWagner states, “Salomon’s program teaching sports helps everyone “unstick” the plaque from their brains, makes us all laugh, and improves our joints and body functions!” His work getting seniors up and moving makes Coach Khater Salomon Fit NOLA’s September Healthy Hero.​
October 2018 Healthy Hero Denali Lander is Executive Director and founder of Youth Run NOLA (YRN). YRN was founded in 2010 as an after-school club in St. Bernard Parish and has flourished as an organization that serves more than 1,000 students at 35 public schools and six neighborhood parks. The youth in the program have run more than 30,000 miles and logged more than 40,000 wellness and health event volunteer hours. Lander states, “Youth Run NOLA was created in order to get the kids, families and communities involved in running or fitness.” The program offers youth a positive, structured environment to build healthy habits, set and achieve goals, and work in the community through an intensive eight-month training program.​

November 2018 Healthy Hero Sean Tate is the Executive Director of DiscoveryFEST and spent his formative years in New Orleans, which fostered a love for play that has continued into his adulthood. From Playworks Louisiana to DiscoveryFest, Sean continues to uplift the mission that every child should have access to physical activity, and every adult should embrace their inner child and join in. DiscoveryFEST aims to provide quality afterschool, recess, summer and winter programs from experienced providers and staff through culinary arts, dance, music, visual arts, sports, nutrition and so much more. Sean’s work continues the mission of fostering self-esteem, confidence and social skills through play for the next generation of NOLA movers and shakers. For more information about DiscoveryFest go to​

December 2018 Healthy Hero Coretta LaGarde is the Senior Community Impact Director for the American Heart Association. Coretta is a quiet force behind creating a culture of health where we live, work, learn, play, pray and heal. To improve the lives in our community, the American Heart Association provides public health education in a variety of ways. Whether she’s training the next generation of lifesavers in CPR, collaborating with city leadership to provide healthier food in all public spaces or bringing awareness to equity for walkable, bike-able and accessible communities, her work is changing the health of the people in New Orleans.​

August 2018 Healthy Hero Update​
Boxing Coach Matt Nussbaum is living his dream and has opened his own gym, Boxing in the Park. Please visit for more information.

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