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Health and Wellness Programs Enhance Quality of Life in Pueblo, CO

Community-wide collaborations keep residents active, healthy

By Teree Caruthers on August 16, 2018

Pueblo, CO
Pueblo / Courtesy of Walk with a Doc

Health and wellness is a cornerstone of a community’s quality of life. In Pueblo, the business community works together with health care organizations and municipal agencies to ensure that cornerstone remains strong.

City Involvement

The Pueblo Parks and Recreation Department, for example, partners with Pueblo City Schools and Pueblo County Schools to offer extracurricular sports programming for students. The department also works closely with the YMCA of Pueblo to provide youth development programs that encourage fitness and healthy living.

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“Our mission is that Pueblo Parks make life better by offering quality, diverse recreation and leisure opportunities; by offering safe, clean and attractive park and recreation facilities; by investing in new and renovated park and recreation facilities; and by partnerships that enhance opportunities and maximize resources,†says Michael C. Sexton, assistant director of the Pueblo Parks & Recreation Department.

Fun With Fitness

More recently, the department has begun collaborating with local health and fitness businesses to offer free classes, such as Yoga in the Park and Paddle Board Yoga with Studio Share; a Kayak and Paddle Board Demo Day with The Edge Ski and Paddle Shop; and Introduction to Fly Fishing, sponsored by The Drift Fly Shop.

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“We have a beautiful city park and a beautiful zoo, and we have a beautiful area down by the Riverwalk, and all of these different aspects have great areas to work out. If we can showcase to people what we have to offer, then I feel like we as a community are benefiting,†says Christina McCann, president and CEO of Studio Share yoga studio. “Between what we offer at parks and rec and what we offer in conjunction with the HARP at the Riverwalk, we probably have 10 different options for outdoor classes during the week. They’re not all paddleboard yoga, and they’re not all yoga. We also offer a high-intensity interval training class, and we offer Zumba. We have all different kinds of stuff going on that is able to get people healthy without costing them any money at all.”

Walk It Out

Another fitness option for residents is Walk with a Doc, sponsored by Southern Colorado Family Medicine Residency Program, part of St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center. Physicians lead community members in a monthly walk to encourage regular exercise habits and hopefully help reduce the city’s obesity rates.

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“I signed up because it was an opportunity for me to get more active, and the best way to encourage our patients to become healthier is to model the behavior that we want them to do. We hope this inspires participants to become more active but to also encourage their family members and neighbors to become more active,†says third-year resident Ashley Harmening, D.O. “We also discuss various health topics at the beginning of the walk – everything from cancer screenings to emergency preparedness to why you should be wearing sunscreen. The hope is it increase people’s health literacy and that will hopefully prevent disease down the line.”

Access to Major Medical Care

Pueblo residents have access to two top-rated hospitals that give families choice and the ability to receive comprehensive and high-quality care close to home.

Parkview Medical Center provides critical health care services and is the region’s only certified Level II trauma center. Parkview has the latest innovative technology, including the da Vinci XI robotic surgical system and a 3D mammography machine, which helps reduce false positives and detect more cancers. In fact, Parkview was named one of the most wired hospitals by the American Hospital Association.

Most recently, the hospital opened the 21,000-square-foot Parkview Outpatient, a state-of-the-art surgical center for same-day surgeries and endoscopy. Parkview was also recognized with a Women’s Choice Award as one of the best hospitals in the country for heart care. The award puts Parkview among the top 9 percent of hospitals in the nation and reinforces the hospital’s commitment to the highest standards of care. The hospital is a leader in providing health education and outreach to the community.

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“Through its mobile nurses program, the Pueblo community is given access to services such as flu shots, blood pressure checks and bone density screenings,†says Jeff Tucker, public relations specialist with Parkview Medical Center. “But the mobile nurses also provide important community education, including seminars on hands-only CPR, and presentations to both children and adults on the dangers of smoking. Recently the nurses have become certified in plant-based education and have held events such as grocery store tours to encourage the public to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their diets along with more exercise.”

Part of the Centura Health network, St. Mary-Corwin is a full-service hospital specializing in orthopedics and joint replacement, cancer care, emergency services, innovative cardiovascular treatments, breast care and robotic-assisted surgery. St. Mary-Corwin is a Cigna Center of Excellence for for obstetrics and cardiac care. The Cancer Assessment Resource Education Survivorship program received an Innovator Award from the Association of Community Cancer Centers. Like Parkview, St. Mary-Corwin has invested in the latest technology, including the Epic electronic record and billing system.

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“St. Mary-Corwin was the first hospital in the region to offer 3D breast imaging earlier this year to aid in the fight against breast cancer. A new MRI with enhanced software to support breast cancer detection has also been a recent investment,†says Jillian Maes, Centura Health director of marketing and communications.

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