Family Fit Fest 2024: Alignment with Health Disparities in North Texas


Blog by Mari Tietze, PhD. RN, BC-NI, FHIMSS, FAAN; Sharla Myers, JD; Tina Holt, MBA

Correspondence concerning this post should be addressed to Sharla Myers of The Community Council of Greater Dallas at

The authors would like to acknowledge the review of this document provided by the staff of the DFW Hospital Council (DFWHC) Foundation and Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation (PCCI).

Introduction and Purpose
Although we think of poverty, food insecurity, and lack of healthcare access as “third world” country issues, that is not necessarily the case. In fact, in certain Dallas-Fort Worth ZIP code areas, more than 30% of the population live under the US poverty level of $14,580 income per one-member family, which represents an hourly salary of $7.29 (Office of Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, 2023). Health disparities in these areas are widespread, with chronic disease, lack of health education, and lack of resources far exceeding the North Texas and even state averages. The purpose of this report is to highlight how knowledge of health disparities in underserved populations can support targeted health improvement activities in those communities.

Family Fit Fest 2024 Overview
The Family Fit Fest 2024 event convened by the Community Council of Greater Dallas will occur on April 27. Over 2,000 families from all over North Texas will attend the event, at no cost, along with their family members of all ages. Bouncy houses, wall-climbing, and the Maverick Cheerleaders are usually the kids’ favorites. In addition, a hundred booths will line the walkways, including health screenings, cooking demonstrations, health improvement educational materials, healthy games for children, and many more activities.

Prioritization and Improvement in Health Equity, Analyzed by the DFWHC Foundation and PCCI
The Family Fit Fest community-based event is significant because of its alignment with recent findings in a DFWHC Foundation/PCCI report entitled, “2023 North Texas Health Equity: Improvement Opportunity Analysis and Prioritization.” The report identified a prioritized list of health conditions across North Texas where communities have a significant opportunity to work together to improve health equity. The DFWHCF and PCCI teams used health measures, such as how frequently someone with a certain condition ends up back in the hospital within 30 days after going home, or how often they ended up in the emergency department, as the basis for the analysis. They looked at disparities in these outcomes by race, income, and ethnicity, and they also looked at the specific neighborhoods and zip codes where the greatest needs exist across the entire North Texas region of 17 counties. The report was intended to be a “guiding star” for community-based organizations, academic institutions, and health systems to prioritize specific areas of focus for services that will help improve the health outcomes of underserved populations. The top three medical conditions highlighted in this report are: Diabetes, Pulmonary Conditions, and Infant and Maternal Health.

We can look further at the neighborhoods and communities with the greatest opportunity to improve health equity in these top three health conditions. For example, the map on the left side of Figure 1 illustrates the ZIP codes where we should focus our efforts because these have disparities in all three conditions. The map on the right side of Figure 1 illustrates the ZIP code areas for those who attended the 2023 Family Fit Fest.

In addition, the map illustrates the level of non-medical barriers to health (the Health Equity Index [HEI]) in that ZIP code, and the darker the color, the higher the degree of these non-medical health challenges in that community (Healthy North Texas, 2024). These non-medical barriers to health are characterized by such factors as poverty level, median family income level, educational level, and degree of federal support. The similarities between the most underserved areas on the left map and those who attended the Family Fit Fest on the right map represent a community-based initiative supporting those who benefit the most, such as those with Diabetes, Pulmonary Conditions, and Infant and Maternal Health conditions.

Figure 1: Similarities between ZIP Codes of Reported Disparities and Family Fit Fest Attendee Health Equity Index [HEI] Score

The Family Fit Fest is an exceptional opportunity for healthcare providers, healthcare systems, businesses, and community-based organizations to come together to address the health of Dallas County residents. The event links together the people most likely to experience barriers to good health with the service providers who can help them overcome these barriers. Events such as the annual Family Fit Fest aim to increase the community members’ health literacy and improve health care behaviors. The variety of Family Fit Fest exhibitors allows participants to access information on chronic disease, mental and emotional health, financial health, and fun ways to achieve physical fitness.

The connection between identified disparities, such as those in the DFWHC Foundation/PCCI report, community engagement efforts, and specific events, such as the annual Family Fit Fest (see Figure 2), is essential to decreasing health disparities in underserved communities. Sponsors and exhibitors have the opportunity for visibility as the event will be sponsored and covered by NBC 5 and the Spanish station Telemundo 39.

Figure 2: Connections that can Decrease Health Disparities in Underserved Communities

Message for Potential Exhibitors and Sponsors

Dear Exhibitors and Sponsors,

The Family Fit Fest is a community-based event that aims to address health disparities and improve health outcomes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. It is alarming to see that certain ZIP code areas in our region have more than 30% of the population living below the poverty level, with limited access to healthcare and facing food insecurity. These issues are not limited to “third world” countries but are present in our backyard.

The 10th Annual Family Fit Fest will take place on April 27, 2024, and we expect families from all over North Texas to attend. This event provides a unique opportunity to engage with these families of all ages, from ages 1 to 99 years, and offer them valuable resources and support. As noted, the event aims to improve health literacy and promote healthy behaviors, from health screenings to cooking demonstrations and educational materials to fun activities for children.

You will be particularly interested to see the alignment between the recent DFWHC Foundation/PCCI report on Health Equity Opportunities in North Texas and the attendees of the Family Fit Fest. The report highlights the top health conditions for our region, where we have an opportunity to improve health equity, which the top 3 are Diabetes, Pulmonary Conditions, and Infant/Maternal Health. Our event attendees tend to come from underserved communities and are more likely to experience these health conditions and the barriers that often make it difficult to improve their health. By participating as an exhibitor or sponsor, you can directly address these disparities and positively impact the lives and health of over 2000 expected attendees.

In addition to the opportunity for visibility through our media partners, NBC 5 and Telemundo 39, your support will contribute to the success of this event and help us move the needle in the right direction toward reducing health disparities in our community. We believe that by coming together as organizations, healthcare providers, businesses, and community-based organizations, we can make a difference and improve the health outcomes of the most underserved populations.

We kindly request your support as an exhibitor or sponsor for the Family Fit Fest 2024. Your contribution will not only benefit the attendees of the event but also showcase your commitment to community health and well-being. If you are interested in participating or want more information, please visit our website at or contact us directly.

Thank you for considering our request. Together, we can create a healthier and more equitable community for all.

Tina Holt, MBA
Senior Director of Advancement
Community Council of Greater Dallas

References (2024). Community Council of Greater Dallas, About Us.

Healthy North Texas (2024). Health Equity Index.

Office of Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. (2023)