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Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu

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Fit NOLA Announces November and December Healthy Heroes

December 01, 2017

NEW ORLEANS – Today, the New Orleans Health Department’s Fit NOLA initiative, Whole Foods Market New Orleans, Rock and Roll NOLA and Athleta announced Monicka Bollins as the recipient of the November 2017 Healthy Hero Award, and Leah Duncan as the recipient of the December 2017 Healthy Hero Award. A “Healthy Hero” is a New Orleanian dedicated to improving the physical and nutritional wellness of their community.

“Congratulations to our November and December Healthy Heroes who join us in creating a culture of health in New Orleans,” said Dr. Joseph Kanter, Director of the New Orleans Health Department. “The Health Department’s Fit NOLA initiative is creating cross-sector partnerships that promote wellness and help make it easier for residents to eat healthy and be physically active."

November 2017 Healthy Hero

Monicka Bollins is a lifelong resident of New Orleans and the proud mother of four children. She is a vocal advocate for health and wellness in the New Orleans community. Monicka currently serves as the Community Health Coordinator at the ReFresh Project (300 N Broad St.), a community health hub that serves as an economic development anchor, delivers high-quality fresh foods and promotes health equity in the surrounding neighborhoods.

In addition to her work with ReFresh, Monica leads the Ruth U. Fertel Tulane Community Health Center Krewe de Lose program, which encourages participants to eat healthy and connects them with free fitness classes. Monicka also serves as the coordinator for “Just Be SOULcial,” a free community gathering that brings people together from all walks of life to foster new friendships and promote love and acceptance. The next “Just Be SOULcial” will be held on December 15 at the Refresh Project (300 N Broad St.).

December 2017 Healthy Hero

Leah Duncan has dedicated herself to promoting healthy eating by traveling throughout the state to conduct cooking classes and lectures at community events assisting organizations in providing healthy food options. Leah is co-chair, vendor coordinator and spokesperson for the New Orleans Veggie Fest, now in its eighth year. New Orleans Veggie Fest is hosted by and benefits the Humane Society of Louisiana, for which Leah also serves as board member and Vegan Outreach Director.

Leah owns Vegan Village, a mobile, vegan food court that she brings to local events, festivals, and races. Vegan Village serves as the official vegan outreach hub of the Humane Society of Louisiana and is the permanent food supplier of the biannual Peace Fest of Baton Rouge.  

As Healthy Heroes, Monicka and Leah will each receive a Whole Foods Market gift card, complimentary entry to Humana Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans marathon, 1/2 marathon or 10K, a shop party for up to 25 guests at Athleta plus a complementary workout outfit, a one-month unlimited class membership to Higher Power, and a Daily Beet gift card.

About Healthy Hero

Fit NOLA & Whole Foods Market together launched Healthy Heroes – a program to celebrate community members leading healthy efforts across New Orleans. The program gives New Orleans residents an opportunity to receive recognition for their work in creating a culture of health within the metro area. Fit NOLA and Whole Foods Market aim to improve health outcomes for residents by promoting the resources and opportunities to access physical activity and healthy nutritional options. Each month, residents are invited to nominate a Healthy Hero online before the designated deadline for a chance to be selected as that month’s sole winner. Nomination questions focus on the environment Healthy Heroes create for themselves and others.

To learn more about the Healthy Hero initiative or apply to be a Healthy Hero, please visit Fit NOLA January Healthy Hero applications are now available. The deadline for entries is Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017.

About Fit NOLA

Fit NOLA, created by Mayor Landrieu, is an effort of over 200 community partners focused on access and resources surrounding physical activity and healthy nutrition with backbone support from the City of New Orleans Health Department. Fit NOLA is working to make New Orleans a fit city through activities to increase awareness, build capacity, and set standards to promote healthy lifestyles.  Learn more at or by following Fit NOLA on Twitter: @FitNOLA.

About Whole Foods Market®

Founded in 1978 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market is the leading natural and organic food retailer. As America’s first national certified organic grocer, Whole Foods Market was named “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store” by Health magazine. The company's motto, “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet”™ captures its mission to ensure customer satisfaction and health, team member excellence, and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support, and environmental improvement. Thanks to the company’s more than 85,000 team members, Whole Foods Market has been ranked as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America by FORTUNE magazine for 19 consecutive years. In the fiscal year 2015, the company had sales of more than $15.4 billion and currently has more than 455 stores in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. For more company news and information, please visit

About Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon & ½ Marathon

The 7th annual Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon, ½ Marathon & 10K will take place on Sunday, March 3, 2018. This fast, flat course gives runners a first class tour of historic New Orleans, the sounds of live, local bands rocking every mile of the way, plus enthusiastic cheerleaders that keep participants energized. The event concludes with a huge finish line festival complete with headliner concert, food, and drinks. A two-day Health & Fitness Expo kicks off race weekend at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The expo will have more than 60 vendors featuring the latest in running gear, nutrition and training tips. To register for the race or for more information, visit

About Athleta

Athleta is the premier fitness fashion brand for women who see being healthy and fit as vital to life. Existing at the intersection of fashion and fitness, Athleta apparel blends performance innovation with chic urban style so you can get your sweat on in style during all your workouts. From studio sports and outdoor sports to outerwear and innerwear, Athleta offers incredibly-flattering, versatile pieces to outfit your entire day (even after your workout is done).

About Higher Power

Higher Power is a cycle, yoga, TRX, & fitness studio founded on a vision for a healthier lifestyle. We stress the importance of not only physical health but also mental & spiritual well-being. Our philosophy implements an east-meets-west approach that combines cardio & strength training with yoga & meditation. We strive to create a welcoming atmosphere that brings balance to people of all ages & skill levels.

About The Daily Beet

The Daily Beet is a cafe and juice bar featuring fresh, healthy options. Owner Dylan Maisel's inspiration for the restaurant came from his childhood in upstate New York, where his parents operated a small vegetarian restaurant. He launched the cold-pressed juice stand JuiceNOLA at St. Roch Market before opening this stand-alone business in 2017.

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Last updated: 1/3/2018 7:04:49 PM

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