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On Tuesday July 13, Performance Physical Therapy visited the community room at Crossroads Rhode Island to teach clients about the health benefits of stretching. This program was made possible by the Covidien Partnership for Neighborhood Wellness grant received by Crossroads in January of this year. Covidien is one of the world's leading providers of healthcare products. Covidien's Neighborhood Wellness program focuses on providing communities in need with the funding and expertise necessary to implement quality healthcare initiatives. Crossroads is currently utilizing the Covidien grant to provide clients with overall health and wellness education programs on a weekly basis.
The interactive stretching class led by Dr. Michelle Collie, president of Performance Physical Therapy, allowed clients to engage in interactive stretching techniques that utilized common items such as chairs and doorways to maximize the benefits of stretching. Aided by two of her staff members, Dr. Collie provided the 20-plus clients with worksheets and water bottles to keep motivation active once the program concluded. Clients expressed a great interest in Performance Physical Therapy returning for future programming as well as reported learning valuable techniques for stretching and better overall health. Dr. Collie explained her satisfaction with the wellness program by saying, “If you help one person feel a little bit better, it's worth it.”
Other recently held wellness programs have included a Nutrition 101 class and a derma screening and sun safety program led by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Health & Wellness Institute. Under the guidance of health educator Jeff Rodrigues, the Wellness Institute has been conducting health programs at Crossroads for over 5 years. At the most recent blood pressure screening held on July 20, over 30 clients received a blood pressure screening. Clients also received information about the importance of screening for hypertension as well as the availability of free blood pressure screenings at local fire stations and many drugstores.
You can get more information at their websites: Performance Physical Therapy, Covidien, and Blue Cross Blue Shield Health & Wellness Institute.
With funding support and technical assistance, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) has generously aided Crossroads in providing wellness programming for the many clients that come through our doors each day.
Volunteers from all areas of health and wellness provide our clients with information relevant to their experience. These programs are vital to those we serve as we assist them in becoming prepared on their journey towards a better quality of life.
The programs have a wide range of topics that include;
- General Health & Hygiene - Safe Sex & HIV
- Blood Pressure Screening - Derma Screening
- Yoga - Relaxation & Stretching Techniques
- Breast Cancer - Prostate & Male Testicular Cancer
- Domestic Violence - Nutrition
- Diabetes - Glucose & Cholesterol Screening
Many of our clients are eager for the next time they see these volunteers. Learning new techniques and adjusting their lifestyle to be healthier despite the adversity they face each day.
Clients also assist in letting us know topics that they encounter; pridefully letting us know how they have utilized the techniques they have learned courtesy of our health and wellness programming.
Thanks to funding from and the partnership with BCBSRI, our clients can live healthier and better prepared lifestyle as they move forward on their journey.
Eight Crossroads Rhode Island clients recently participated in a Metalworking Program designed specifically for residents of Providence’s South Side who are living at, or below, the federal poverty line. The program, which was designed to teach participants employable skills and increase their eligibility for local jobs, was hosted by The Steel Yard in collaboration with Rhode Island Hospital and Lifespan Corporation.
Over the course of the intensive one-week program, participants spent 30 hours working closely with highly skilled and experienced instructors learning how to safely operate tools commonly used in metalworking. They practiced their new skills by working on functional public art pieces.
In addition to technical skills, participants had the opportunity to develop teamwork, communication, consistency, self-esteem, project management, problem-solving, and follow-through skills.
The mission of the Steel Yard is to serve low-income Rhode Islanders by providing access to training, education, and facilities to learn and practice the industrial arts. Partnering with Crossroads Rhode Island's Education and Employment Services team to identify potential participants for this program allowed the Steel Yard to offer their services to the Providence residents most in need, while the participants gained in-demand skills to help them secure employment and stable housing.
Namaste Rhode Island, a collaborative of yoga studios, teachers, and students, hosted the Yoga Ball, a first-of-its-kind event which brought the yoga community of Rhode Island together for an evening celebrating life, love and practice. Proceeds from this event benefited the Women’s Shelter at Crossroads Rhode Island.
The evening began with a collective flow practice with Debbie Valois and Bryna René. It was followed by cocktail hour, a silent auction, dinner and a Bollywood-themed ball! This special event took place on November 11, 2011 at the Westin in Providence.
Thank you to Namaste Rhode Island and all those who participated to support this special event!
Audrey Amado’s background in customer service, case management and conflict resolution has been very useful to her during her three years at Crossroads Rhode Island. Because she works in two program areas, Audrey has multiple opportunities to assist clients as they transition from homelessness to permanent housing. She provides case management to residents in our permanent supportive housing program as well as clients from all our programs who are working to improve their educational and employability skills.
“I believe in helping others to help themselves as they work to rebuild their lives,” Audrey says. “For me, it is important to take advantage of every opportunity to help people see themselves in another light. Homelessness can be a moment in time, not necessarily a lifetime.” She acknowledges that often it is hard to keep those that are homeless or facing homelessness focused on trying to get a G.E.D. or gaining employment, especially when their lives are filled with daily survival challenges. “It is very important to celebrate every milestone clients, residents and students achieve along the way to help them build self-confidence.”
For the past year, Crossroads has been coordinating weekly health programming sessions for our clients thanks, in part, to grants from Covidien and Rite Aid. Each week a different community partner provides programming on a variety of different health and wellness related topics such as blood pressure, nutrition, HIV/Aids, yoga, and diabetes. We have been fortunate to have specialists from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island, Pharma Resources, Performance Physical Therapy, Lifespan, and Miriam Hospital participate, and on average have 40 clients attend the programming each week.
Last week, the Minority Outreach Specialist from Lifespan Community Health Services came in to talk about domestic violence (DV) to our female clients. We had more clients than anticipated, but the number in attendance isn't what was successful about the session. The success of the session was based on how many clients opened up about their personal DV situations and asked questions on how they could get help. Several women cried throughout the presentation and several stayed after to ask questions. Judy*, a resident in the tower, approached the Outreach Specialist at the end of the session and shook her hand and thanked her for all of the information she provided. Judy had personally experienced violence recently and was now ready to receive more support.
This wasn't the first time that a client had taken the next step in
(*Please note that the client's name has been changed in order to respect privacy.)
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