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Overlook offers healthy lifestyle programs

In a separate two-story building in the heart of Summit, N.J., nurses, health educators and other healthcare specialists from Overlook Medical Center offer an array of healthy lifestyle programs to the residents.

“One day a week we offer health education and various health screenings, and the other five days we offer integrative services, which includes hands-on modalities, holistic assessments and healthy lifestyle education,” said Joyce Passen, RN, BSN, MBA, manager of community health. Out of the community health and integrative health departments, the Atlantic downtown facility has been serving the community for about six months.

Integrative services, such as hands-on modalities, holistic classes and educational programs have been added to the downtown Overlook program.

Depending on the day, participants in the community program may be screened for hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, bone density and body mass index. Nurse and health educators teach participants about topics such as stroke, women and heart disease, diabetes, nutrition, skin care and ovarian and breast cancers. Various medical center departments are providing additional services, such as bariatric exercise classes and support groups. All services are offered for free or at a low cost.

“Residents can enter our integrative program in a number of ways. They simply can walk in and join our education classes or sign up for some of our hands-on modalities, like massage, jin shin jyutsu, reflexology or acupuncture,” said Emilie Rowan, LCSW, manager of Atlantic integrative medicine, who created and coordinates the three integrative Atlantic programs.

Joyce Passen, RN

Participants also may meet with a holistic nurse, who performs a health assessment and helps people identify services that would be most beneficial. Classes cover topics such as nutraceuticals, breaking the sugar habit and stress reduction, and residents also can sign up for cooking classes, yoga, meditation, tai chi and zumba.

“It’s all about helping our residents take charge of and improve their own health and prevent disease,” Rowan said. “By educating the community on self-care and healthy lifestyle practices, we are focusing on health and wellness, an essential to healthcare.”

Mobile healthcare

The Healthy Avenues Van offers screening services and educational programs and logs in screenings and education for about 30,000 participants a year.

Besides the storefront location, a Healthy Avenues Van offers similar screening services and educational programs, covering 41 towns and logging screenings and education for about 30,000 participants a year.

“We have a regular schedule of events that we publicize so everyone knows where we will be and what screenings and educational programs we will be offering. It’s a win-win for us and for our local businesses that request our services,” Passen said. “We also have provided student physicals when schools notify us of those who are underinsured or uninsured.”

Teaching patients how to access healthcare and not to wait until they need to be admitted to the ED is an important component, Passen said. “Because we focus on prevention and referral at our downtown facility and on the van, we have been able to keep patients out of the ED,” she said. In some cases, they have saved lives by getting patients admitted who needed immediate medical care, Passen said.

Emilie Rowan, LCSW

“With our new downtown location and the van, we continue to weave our services into the fabric of the community and make it easier for residents to participate in our programs, which is exactly what we hoped to accomplish,” Passen said.

By | 2020-04-15T13:18:26-04:00 June 27th, 2011|Categories: New York/New Jersey Metro, Regional|0 Comments

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