Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

May 18, 2013

IU Health employees work to promote wellness during day of service

GOSHEN – Around 50 employees volunteered for the Goshen Parks Department Friday to help improve the city’s trail system.

For the second year, IU Health Goshen participated in the IU Health system’s statewide Day of Service program.

According to Stacy Bowers, manager of the community wellness and education department, about 20,000 IU Health employees across the state worked on projects in their community Friday. IU Health specifically wanted to focus on helping combat obesity across the state and looked for ways to help people get access to trails and get more people physically active under the theme “building trails to better health.”

Locally, Bowers said IU Health Goshen partnered with the Goshen Parks Department and donated an outdoor fitness center near the millrace trail at the Rieth Interpretive Center. The fitness area offers exercises that people can do while using the trails for their workout.

In addition to the fitness equipment, volunteers worked on beautifying the trails by spreading mulch, planting flowers and pulling weeds.

According to Bowers, the theme fit into what IU Health Goshen is trying to do in the community.

“For Goshen, obesity was identified as one of the top priorities in a community health needs assessment,” she said. “So this aligned very well with what our mission was locally anyway and we’re happy to be a part of it.”

Improving the quality of the already great trails in Goshen and hopefully getting more resident involved in getting active is a rewarding experience for Bowers.

“I’m happy to a part of something that is a meaningful experience to me and the fact that it lends itself to improving the health of the community is something that I can buy into,” she said.

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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