in Shape program
St. Mary’s Hospital is sponsoring a program for seniors to help them stay or become more physically fit. The program goal is to help older individuals avoid falls in their home and elsewhere by increasing their balance, muscle strength and coordination. The first class will be held in the Cottonwood Community Center on Tuesday, November 22 at 9:30 a.m.
Trained volunteers, Shelli Schumacher and Annabelle Gonzales, will facilitate the class which will include the use of resistance bands and other specially designed exercises to help improve posture, increase gait speed, improve stability and reduce the risk of falling.
“My mom benefitted greatly from a similar class,” said Shelli Schumacher who recently completed a day long training class. “I’d like to see a series of classes for our local folks regardless of age, gender and physical ability.” Schumacher and Gonzales will administer a simple pre test to attendees so they can measure their progress with a post test at the end of the first ten weeks.
“We’d like to talk to anyone interested and then set up the regular class schedule based on the best time for the most people,” continued Schumacher. The ongoing classes should be offered two times per week for an hour each session.
One in three older adults fall each year which leads to an increased fear of falling. As many as 60% of seniors who live independently report a fear of falling. This fear can reduce the person’s physical activity and make them likelier candidates for falling in the future. People 70 or older have a 50% chance of dying as the result of a fall . Fall related injuries are the leading cause of death due to accidental injuries.
“We’d like to get a sense of how many people are interested in attending a regular class,” said Schumacher. “If there is enough interest we’ll schedule an ongoing session. If someone is interested, but can’t make the Tuesday morning class they can call and let me know what times work best for them.”
Schumacher can be reached at 962-5371.
Pitron is employee of the month
The Customer Service team at St. Mary’s Hospital selected Dan Pitron as the November Employee of the Month. Dan was hired on May 11, 2010 as the St. Mary’s Hospital Maintenance Manager.
In that capacity, Dan directs the day to day and long term maintenance of all hospital buildings, equipment and grounds; he also develops preventive maintenance programs, policies and procedures for the maintenance department.
“I enjoy working on just about anything and improving operations,” stated Dan when asked why he decided to go into his profession. “I also like helping people.”
Some of the qualities listed on Dan’s nomination forms were; reliable, pleasant, cheerful and friendly. It was also stated that he will do whatever is asked and is very knowledgeable when it comes to fixing things.
After attending high school in Potlatch; Dan went to work for Bennett Lumber where he worked for 23 years in maintenance and managed a team of thirteen millwrights.
When not working; Dan enjoys racing quads in Supercross, Arenacross and Motorcoss events and series. “However this may come to end in the next couple of years; afterwards I’m thinking about knitting classes if that part of my body is still working,” joked Dan.
Dan currently lives in Clarkston, Washington and his parents live in Yelm, Washington.