In the Community
Intro
Walking for Fitness and Friendship

 

hey walk and talk. And friendships form as participants in the Cedars-Sinai Center Strutters program do laps around the Beverly Center. For two decades, this walk-for-fitness program has motivated people ages 60 to 90 to exercise regularly.

Taye Torio has been participating for 19 years. In her late 80s, she’s still going strong, and she believes Center Strutters has a lot to do with the spring in her step.

She not only drives herself to the Beverly Center several times a week to walk around the indoor mall, but also works in her garden, does her own cooking and housework, and takes an art class.

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Walking for Fitness and Friendship

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She wakes up feeling good nearly every day, and her blood pressure is normal.

“I’m pretty healthy and energetic. I can do just about everything, and I’m very thankful for that,” she says.

Center Strutters involves about 300 participants over the course of a year, with a core group of about 50 people who walk together between 8:30 and 10 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

The group puts in a total of about 25,000 miles a year. Logan Williams, associate director of

 

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Community Health and Education at Cedars-Sinai, logs their miles each session and encourages them to keep walking.

No one counts the many cups of coffee participants have enjoyed together, but the social time is a big part of what brings people back, week after week and year after year.

“I’ve made very good friends in this group,” Taye says. “We look forward to getting together for coffee after we walk.”

Looking Out for Seniors
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undreds of people attend West Hollywood’s annual Senior Health Fair in May at Plummer Park, where a team from Cedars-Sinai provides free health screenings, immunizations and information. The screenings, performed by Cedars-Sinai nurses, can lead to early diagnosis and referrals. For example, half of the 30 women who received breast exams at a recent fair were given referrals for further evaluation. The Medical Center also offers clinics where seniors and other high-risk individuals receive free flu/pneumococcal immunizations at various locations around Los Angeles between October and January. Clinic sites include the 88th Street Temple Church, Park La Brea and the People Coordinated Service Multipurpose Senior Center in the Crenshaw district.

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These services for seniors are part of a larger effort that includes a wide range of community health programs reaching thousands of people of all ages each year.

Teaming Up with Telemundo
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urse practitioner Sylvia Estrada, RN, is one of many Cedars-Sinai employees who speak Spanish, understand the health problems facing the underserved Latino population of Los Angeles, and welcome opportunities to help.

These employees play a crucial role in activities such as the annual health fair organized by the local Telemundo Spanish-language television station. The event draws as many as 30,000 people to the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Cedars-Sinai sends a team of healthcare professionals who provide free services including blood pressure and diabetes education and screening, nutrition counseling and immunizations. They also teach children good dental habits.

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“We see a lot of hypertension and uncontrolled diabetes in the large underserved and uninsured Latino population of Los Angeles,” Sylvia says. “We teach people how to prevent problems like these from developing or getting worse.”

Prevention is Power
 
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ifestyle changes can do miraculous things for those at risk for or diagnosed with diabetes, says Diane McWhorter, a certified diabetes educator and nurse practitioner who offers diabetes prevention and management classes and one-on-one counseling for patients of Cedars-Sinai Medical Group and Cedars-Sinai Health Associates.

“Our doctors are very proactive about educating patients at risk for Type 2 diabetes because if you make lifestyle changes soon enough, you may be able to stop it before it starts,” she says, adding that the right diet and regular exercise also are crucial to preventing diabetes from progressing and causing complications.

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Pull Quote A Preventive Approach for All Stages of Life