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DLCCC teams with Essentia to put on speaker series for seniors

The Detroit Lakes Community Center is a place for gathering, socializing and staying healthy.

Essentia Health St. Mary’s is a place to educate people and offer programs to inform people of various topics.

So it was a natural fit for the two entities to come together for a summer series geared toward seniors and the Silver Sneakers program, though anyone can attend the free series.

“We do a lot of programming, and we were meeting with the community center on a variety topics,” said LeAnn Mouw, Essentia Health St. Mary’s director of development and communications.

Terry Haus, director of memberships and development at the community center, mentioned to her that they could use some help with programming, and thus began a partnership.

“We wanted to positively impact the community and those who are coming here,” said Heidi Mason, fitness events and relationship coordinator at the DLCCC.

The Summer Speakers Series hosts three presentations this summer — the second Thursday of each month — at 2 p.m. in the DLCCC conference room. They are free and open to the public.

On June 13, Marsha Parker, RD, will speak on “The Power of Produce and Water.” On July 11, Jordan Bjorhus, PT, will speak on “Safe Seniors: Fall Prevention Program,” and on Aug. 8, Jake Januszewski, PT, and Andy Moen, podiatrist, will speak on “Plantar Fasciitis: A Real Pain in the Foot.”

If there is success with the summer series, it will continue year-round.

Mouw said that she has a list of various topics that have either been a success at St. Mary’s in the past or that people have said they want to see in the future, and that is where the topics for series come from. After each session of the summer series, attendees will be given a feedback form to provide information on what was good, what can be improved and what they’d like to see in the future.

“There’s an evaluation after each and we get their suggestions and then we coordinate people to talk about that topic,” she said.

Having a new series in a new location with the community center gives both entities the opportunity to expand their programming, Mouw and Mason agreed.

“They are a good community resource, and it is just a natural fit for us,” Mouw said of pairing with the DLCCC.

It’s good for the seniors as well.

“They like the social aspect and we want to encourage them to stay active and healthy,” Mason said of seniors already using the Silver Sneakers program.

Silver Sneakers is an exercise program for senior citizens, offered through insurance companies. Mason said each individual insurance plan is different in the amount it will cover of Silver Sneakers membership. But with the membership, seniors are then allowed to use the community center and take classes for free, depending on the insurance plan.

There is no need to RSVP for the summer series program. Anyone can attend the free series, regardless of whether or not they are Silver Sneakers members or DLCCC members.

Follow Pippi Mayfield on Twitter at @PippiMayfield.