Transforming the Wellness Center

On July 15th, hundreds of staff, patients, their families and friends bopped and boogied, stretched and de-stressed, drummed and danced as we celebrated the 2011 Summer Fest, “Summer Grooves with Healing Moves,” in celebration of the grand opening of San Francisco General Hospital’s NEW Community Wellness Center. The cafeteria was blazing with energy as participants soul line danced to R&B music, partied Carnaval style with Loco Bloco, experienced the healing power of hula and drumming, and turned themselves around with the hokey pokey.

CEO Sue Currin and Director of Wellness and Diagnostic Services, Shermineh Jafarieh, welcomed the crowd and presided over the ribbon cutting ceremony that ushered in the hospital’s new Community Wellness Center. Healing energy filled the center as massage therapists offered soothing chair massages throughout the day. Visitors to the center also enhanced their health and well-being through gentle yoga, Qi Gong, Reiki, Jin Shin Jyutsu and Tai Chi, taught by Chinese cancer survivors who received their care and treatment at SFGH.

In the cafeteria, participants strolled by and visited dozens of booths, sponsored by both hospital programs and community groups that promote and encourage healthy practices for patients, staff, and visitors so as to help achieve better physical, emotional, social, and spiritual health. Featured hospital programs included the outpatient dialysis center’s Cycling on Dialysis program and the Radiology department’s Biggest Loser contest .

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Our physical therapists and registered dieticians demonstrated that taking better care of your health and wellness can not only be easy , but also fun! SFGH Heartbeets and the Mission Community Market gave out fresh fruit, vegetables, and trail mix while the SF Tobacco Free Project offered free services on how to quit smoking. The National Park Service was on hand, taking green screen photos of the SFGH community at Yellowstone, Death Valley, and in front of the Golden Gate Bridge. Shape-Up San Francisco showed us how many minutes you’d have to hula hoop to undo the calorie intake of just one sugary soda (it’s a lot!). Around the corner, the Sojourn Chaplaincy offered hundreds of hand blessings as well as moving meditations in the hospital chapel.

As staff, patients and other community members were all enthralled. Physician Michelle Schneidermann’s 18-month-old daughter Ariela and husband Michael stopped by and were delighted with all the exciting activities. Dr. Schneidermann’s husband commented, “This hospital rocks! Is it like this every day?!” When he entered the new Community Wellness Center, Tristan Cook from the rebuild team remarked, “The Wellness team has transformed this into an incredible space. I’m really looking forward to the new programs in the upcoming year!”

As the Summer Fest event pulsated with joy and healing vibrations, so will the new Community Wellness Center. The new Community Wellness Center is located on the second floor of the hospital and will offer culturally and linguistically relevant programs and services for SFGH’s vibrant and diverse community. The program brings

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together providers, staff, patients, volunteers and our surrounding community to create innovative, engaging and open services that aim to take a holistic approach in improving mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health and wellbeing. Please stay tuned for the Fall schedule of activities that will be announced at the end of August.

The San Francisco General Hospital Community Wellness Program gratefully acknowledges the following programs for their participation and support.

American Cancer Society-Relay for Life

American Heart Association

Bayview YMCA

Better Breathers of California

Black Coalition on AIDS & Rafiki Wellness Center

GGNA Healthy Parks, Healthy People

Homeless Prenatal Project

Kaiser Permanente

Mission Community Market

ODC (Oberlin Dance Company)

Newcomer’s Health Program

Potero Hill Health Center-Healing Project

SFGH Heartbeets

SFGH Rehabilitation Department

SF Tobacco Free Project

Shape Up SF

Two Degrees

UCSF Live Well

Woman, Infant and Children (WIC)

San Francisco General Hospital Foundation

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