MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (WDVM) – We hear it all the time to eat healthy to stay healthy. The West Virginia University medical system hopes to make this easier for us.

So important is a healthy, nutritious diet that the President of West Virginia University came to Martinsburg to introduce the WVU’s medical systems approach to the entire region.

“This started from student to student,” said Dr. E. Gordon Gee, “and now they have developed it to be a community-wide project.”

This project is community-wide for the time being – but the WVU sees nationwide effects from what is happening here in Martinsburg.

“In building programs like this that are really unique to the state of West Virginia, we are embracing the idea that we do things in the Eastern Panhandle first,” said Dr. Clay Marsh, vice president of health sciences at WVU.

According to the WVU Regional Dean for the Medical System East of the WVU, everyone in the community is invited to the table.

“This is all based on partnerships with our ward, our local farmers and our local churches and our pantries, our ward, our ward gardens,” said Emma Eggleston, Dean of the WVU’s Eastern Panhandle Medical System.

The WVU team is about helping the community in general, beyond the kitchen table.

Carla Toolan, the initiative’s community outreach coordinator, said, “It takes a four-pillar approach to lifestyle, medicine and diabetes management to nutrition, physical activity, stress relief and sleep hygiene.”

Melanie Jimmerson of the WVU Farm-to-You program added, “I think the most rewarding part is that people can go home with free and fresh, locally grown produce.”

President Gee will continue to carry his message throughout the mountainous state. The Healthy Harvest Farm Table is open to residents on the first and third Tuesday through November from 9 a.m. near the WVU Berkeley Medical Complex on Sushruta Drive in Martinsburg.