At the Indian Health Center of Santa Clara Valley’s (IHC) Wellness Center, there was and Elders’ Lunch, Gathering, and Bingo! Over on East Santa Clara Street in downtown San Jose, the Indian Health Center likes to celebrate its diverse patient population by providing opportunities for learning about health, diabetes prevention, and culture. At the luncheon, Bingo was a big hit! Everyone loved playing, and of course winning! The prizes were various, some in connection to Indian art, and others were oriented to eating better and living a healthy lifestyle. In the end, everyone won, as the elders were fed some delicious food, and quenched their thirst with some pure, healthy water!
Healthy eating, and of course, a healthy lifestyle, is the core of the Community Wellness and Outreach (CWO) Program at the Indian Health Center. This Elders Lunch, which took place on October 4th, 2013, occurs monthly, as a way to get American Indian elders together—
community ties, and sustaining a healthy living. These gathering are
because they provide a helpful opportunity to have friends, and the
support each other to achieve health goals. Children, family, and
community members are always welcome at these events; the IHC appreciates
of its community members, and the more the merrier! Intergenerational and
diverse crowd helps to keep these events and spaces open and free—and very
The CWO Program has long been a pride jewel of the Indian Health Center—winning National Health Awards in their efforts to fight diabetes and help patients overcome their health struggles. In a human and personal way, the CWO Program makes medicine accessible, and help to bring wellness to the lives of the community. Having the event take place in the CWO gym, made for a great setting for this luncheon—as fitness and eating goals are of upmost importance here. “Eat your vegetables, and be sure to stay active!” was great mantra a buzzed in the air at this luncheon!
Craig Pasqua, Chair of the Board of Directors of the IHC, had a bit to say about his love and appreciation of the elders and the IHC. He gave a great speech about the joy he felt when he enters the doors of CWO, and seeing his community being well and motivated to stay healthy. He was happy to have this Elder’s lunch, and was please to say he wanted to see these events continue!
After some food, everyone seemed happy to play the regular bingo, but this breast cancer awareness bingo was also extremely engaging! Playing with key words affecting breast cancer, such as smoking, and ensuring a regular breast exam made the game fun—bingo and discussion of these words were open and alive! This was definitely a safe time and place to talk about health! Good foods, and healthy behavior, were promoted from the elders themselves. And, this is how the CWO works! Keeping engagement and openness for wellness of the community and the individual!
Please join us for our next Elder lunch, and contact Fred Clay for more details at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
by Cuauhtemoc Peranda, MFA - Staff Writer