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Community Health and Wellness at Sunken Meadow State Park

June 29th, 2016

St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center offered its free Board "Walk" to Wellness Program at Sunken Meadow Beach on Tuesdays throughout the month of June, where staff and clinicians engaged community members about health and wellness education.

The four week program, initiated in 2014, was reduced to a weekly meeting session this year, as opposed to a five month span in previous years (meeting once a month), and the community response was successful. Throughout the month of June, health care professionals greeted walkers and provided free health information on nutrition, chronic diseases prevention, as well as free health screenings. After one-to-one interactions, clinicians and other support staff tied their laces and board "walked" their way to better wellness with community members, all in the spirit of physical fitness.

Kings Park resident Theresa Stabile participated in the program all four weeks and commented as follows when asked about the benefits of the wellness program, “All the information provided has been helpful and encouraging –I greatly appreciated the blood pressure screenings too.” She added, “having the support here on the boardwalk gets me thinking, I have to do this more than one day a week—it’s not just for recreation, it supports overall good health.”

This is the third year St. Catherine of Siena has offered the program through its Community Outreach division, in partnership with The New York State Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation Department. The Board "Walk" to Wellness Program is an outgrowth of the medical center's 2014-2016 Community Service Plan (CSP). The CSP initiatives have been implemented in an effort to improve population health on Long Island, based in three health care priority areas, as identified by members of the community in the first 2013 Community Health Needs Assessment Survey (CHNA)

The top 3 priority areas selected in 2013 CHNA were obesity/nutrition education, chronic disease management and prevention, and behavioral health. Most recently, St. Catherine of Siena, in collaboration with the Nassau Suffolk Hospital Council’s Long Island Health Collaborative and Population Health Improvement Project, have completed the 2016 CHNA, which identified a shift in the priority areas. The new priority areas identify in Suffolk County were drugs and alcohol abuse, chronic disease (high prevalence of cancer) and obesity/weight loss. St. Catherine of Siena is activity working on a new three year 2016-2018 CPS, which will be implemented in the fall.