Friday, September 27, 2018
ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH – The St. John the Baptist Parish Health & Human Services Department sponsored a Health and Wellness Event recently at REGALA Gym with more than 260 participants. The event was coordinated by Rhonda Lemons, Director of the Department of Health and Human Services, and included a number of local agencies and businesses providing services and consultations directed towards fitness, wellness and healthy lifestyles.
Emergency responders from the Office of Fire Services challenged attendees with an exciting adult and children’s obstacle course. At times, some participants were competing against each other in good fun while children and youth enjoyed tackling the course from start to finish. The department also demonstrated proper fire extinguisher use and led discussions on carbon monoxide. Susan Bailey and her team were able to get participants moving with her fun and energetic line dancing classes that also doubled as exercise.
Staff members from the Teche Action Clinic were on site providing blood pressure, body mass index and glucose screenings. The LaPlace Walgreens team gave FLU vaccinations as the St. John Health Unit and Office of Public Health administered free HPV vaccines and HIV testing. Various departments from Ochsner led lessons on smoking cessation and also were on hand to do cardiac ankle-brachia index (ABI) screening and counseling.
With a focus on women, infant and children, the Greater New Orleans YMCA provided instructions on car seat and seat belt safety using hands on demonstrations and guided tutorials. Dr. Niquelle Lackings, a local licensed professional counselor taught meditation, stress management and diaphragmatic breathing lessons to attendees and offered various ways to “de-stress.” Sheriff Mike Tregre and his office were also on hand supporting the event and talking about self-defense and upcoming courses.
“Many times, these great resources and services can sometimes be difficult to obtain for some of our residents so the Health and Wellness Event allowed an approachable and friendly way for people to connect and receive the services they need at no cost,” said Lemons. “A sincere thank you to St. John Parish staff, Ochsner Medical Center and Teche Action Clinic for co-sponsoring the event, Dunkin Donuts and Smoothie King for their donations and members of Zeta Phi Beta and Delta Sigma Theta sororities for volunteering. Altogether, we made the event a very successful one.”