Cooperative venture places spotlight on "wellness"

By Brian Sweeney
The Auxiliary of Margaretville Hospital and Mountainside Residential Care Center has completed a whirlwind of events to commemorate Wellness Week. The auxiliary has the goal of promoting spiritual, social and emotional wellness through an ongoing series of community events.
This year featured almost daily activities as the auxiliary continued to work in cooperation with a growing number of organizations that has similar goals.
John Riedl, who chairs the auxiliary’s wellness committee, said his group was very pleased with the Wellness Week programming.
“The concept was we tried to tie a lot of activities around Wellness Week,” Mr. Riedl explained.
Using Margaretville Hos-pital’s annual Spring Fair as the kickoff, the auxiliary used that event as a place to distribute materials related to wellness.
During the rest of the week, the auxiliary was involved in the following:
• Organizing for a guest speaker at the Town of Middletown Senior Citizens’ Meals Site on Tuesday. Concerns of seniors were addressed at this luncheon meeting.
“We learned that we need to continue to reach out to our senior citizen population to assist them with programs to promote wellness,” noted Mr. Riedl.
• The wellness then continued at Wednesday’s annual dinner for the Chamber off Commerce of the Central Schools. Guest speaker at this event was David Lundquist, CEO of HealthAlliance, the health care partnership of which Margaretville Hospital is a member.
“The tie-in with the HealthAlliance with the community in general is another extension of our wellness mission,” Mr. Riedl pointed out.
• On Wednesday, a “Food Play,” which places an emphasis on proper eating habits, was presented at Margaretville and Roxbury central schools (see related story on page 4B).
• On Friday, many students at Margaretville Central School participated in the school’s third annual Wellness Run. This event places an emphasis on the benefits of physical activity and healthy eating habits.
• The Auxiliary Wellness Committee worked in conjunction with the organizers of Saturday’s inaugural Ride-n-Peak event in Margaretville and helped to promote a healthy, active lifestyle.
In addition, Wellness Walks were organized in Margaretville and Fleischmanns. Mr. Riedl said interest has already been expressed in making these regular events and it’s hoped that Roxbury will also begin hosting Wellness Walks.
• An open house to celebrate the many offerings of Margaretville Hospital was held Sunday at The Open Eye Theater in Margaretville. The committee also introduced its new traveling exhibit that will be utilized as an ongoing means of helping to spread the wellness message.
Mr. Riedl said that his committee was very pleased that so many groups were willing to coordinate their activities around Wellness Week and to join in promoting a unified message.
“We received a lot of great support during these events and our goal is to keep wellness going in our local communities,” stated Mr. Riedl.