Health Sphere

Guiding Principle:  “Given what we have learned about the health impacts of social isolation among the elderly, lives may depend on creating more such opportunities [for ‘supportive spaces’] . . . .  Libraries [and community centers are] ‘the textbook example of social infrastructure in action,’ a shared space where everyone from school children doing homework to the video-gaming elderly can get to know one another better. . . .  The presence of destitute or mentally ill visitors is a feature, not a bug, of libraries, because it requires people to confront radical differences in a shared space [‘positive proximity’].”

New York Times, Sept. 16, 2018

Objectives:

Educate participants (youth and adults) in components of healthy lifestyle to promote long-term health, quality of life, and avoidance of chronic disease (bring in case studies from Blue Zones).

Model, demonstrate, and reinforce practical strategies to incorporate healthy lifestyle techniques.

Create a sense of community engaged in healthy lifestyle.

Engage family members in supporting healthy lifestyle.

Provide education on a variety of health topics.

Generate youth interest and mentoring experiences in healthcare related fields.

Build a cross-generational association of Health Ambassadors from physicians and nurses and resident physicians to university students (pre-med) and high school students (interested in the sciences).

Components:

Healthy Eating – Education, youth gardening, healthy cooking demonstrations and sampling, teaching interface between dietary choices and the environment, plant luck dinners, plant-based science

Movement – Walk with a Doc (expanded schedule), Yoga classes (all ages and levels from Chair Yoga to Standing Yoga to Power and Ashtanga Yoga; some of these classes are “clinical,” others like Standing Yoga are intergenerational, and still others, like Ashtanga, are for elite athletes), dance classes, STEP, Tai Chi and Qigong and other Martial Arts like Aikido (to build discipline and peer respect in youth)

Mindfulness – Meditation classes, mindful eating, restorative space, study key relaxation texts/science

Substance Abuse Prevention – Education on current trends, positive messaging, youth and parent training

Food Therapy – Learning why you make unhealthy food choices, learning how to build new food habits through CBT, learning how to shop and cook and garden, sharing your enthusiasm about healthy food

Movement Therapy – Learning the science behind different forms of movement, finding the types of movement that work for you, understanding the anatomical principles of yoga, tai chi and Pilates

Mental Health – Training in emotional identification and in self-regulation

Sense of purpose – Strategies to help youth and adults develop a sense purpose in life

Building healthy community relationships – Engage students in planning community events to share their knowledge and experiences on health topics; create safe space/room for youth

Resources:

Volunteer Staff (Professionals and Retired Professionals, College Students, Medical Students, Resident Physicians)

Gardening supplies

Cooking supplies

Refrigeration and cooking equipment

Cleaning supplies

Yoga mats, blocks, audio equipment for music

Small budget for decoration of educational spaces (engage creative youth in design/implementation)

Small budget for community building events

Annual Budget:

$5,000:   year one for programming.  (Year 2 and 3 budgets for programming in this sphere will be much larger.)

Schedule:

Daily health related activity on a rotating schedule

Volunteers commit to a day of the week to offer programming

Participants have a daily health sphere experience in addition to daily arts and technology activities

Integration with other spheres:

Arts

Visual arts activities to promote positive health messages and attractive meeting spaces

Dance activities to promote physical movement

Musical arts to promote relaxation and sense of purpose

Healing Arts:  dance therapy, music therapy, art therapy, etc.

Technology

Graphic design to develop health promoting visuals

Utilization of apps to help teach activity, nutrition, relaxation

Utilization of computers to teach skills to access reliable health information online

Arts & Technology

Sicilian Food Project (type 2 diabetes, migration effect, statistics, culinary and gardening arts)

DNA Values Project (intergenerational: youth and adults discover their roots, research the arts and healthy indigenous foods from their home countries, discuss different cultures and their distinct values)

Health Sphere Leadership:

Dr. Michael Kalinowski – Family Physician

  1. Current Project Director for Federal CARA Grant on Prevention of Adolescent Opioid and Prescription Drug Abuse
  2. Reference: Haley Shoop – Durham Middlefield Local Wellness Coalition: 860-349-0258, hshoop.dmlwc@gmail.com

Rachel Hedrick—Clinical Yoga Teacher (CHC), Massage Therapist, Functional Anatomist, Macrobiotic Chef, Founder of famtusa.org (Food & Movement Therapy)

Jeff Hush—Founder of famtusa.org, Community Advocate and Co-founder of CHEER (“Comfortable Healthy Energy Efficient Renewable,” a City entity that improves low-income rental housing/health in Middletown), Movement Therapist (yoga, tai chi, qigong, Pilates, hiking in nature), Member of Middlesex County NAACP Health Committee (at Middlesex Hospital)