Capping another year of community outreach, West Kendall Baptist Hospital already has planned informative events and programming for 2015.
Since opening, the hospital has expanded involvement with residents through special activities on the hospital campus, in local schools and at various community locations.
“When the hospital opened nearly four years ago, we pledged not just to care for the sick but to engage the well, and to create a place where all are welcome,” said Javier Hernandez-Lichtl, West Kendall Baptist CEO.
“We have delivered on that promise, hosting scores of events and educating thousands of people on ways to live healthier, more active lives.”
During 2015, several events that have become community favorites will continue, with other new programs added,” said Karen Vassell, the hospital’s community relations manager. “Our focus is on creating fun and informative learning opportunities, which are always offered at no cost.”
Among coming events:
Jan. 21: Begun a year ago, the hospital hosts a “Military Family Appreciation Dinner” for up to 100 guests. Veterans from WWII to the Iraq War, representing all military branches, visit one another and share their experiences.
Feb 10: “Girls’ Night Out” series continues with topics of interest to teens and tweens, kicking off with “Why I Love Me” to begin a yearlong focus on self-esteem and body appearance issues.
Feb. 20: The hospital’s signature “Red Dress Fun Run” returns to benefit the American Heart Association and Healthy West Kendall.
Participants pledge $25 and receive a red toga or scarf to wear during an evening walk/run around the lake.
Mar. 28: The “Community Easter Egg Hunt” returns with children, ages 2-12, taken to a nearby field to hunt for eggs and prizes.
Coming events in the fall include:
Oct. 14: “Bra Day” highlights breast cancer awareness.
Oct. 22: “Pink Tutu Parade” that benefits the Komen for the Cure fund.
Oct. 31: Pint-size ghosts and ghouls wander along a closed portion of SW 158th Avenue during a “Community Halloween Celebration” that drew more than 10,000 revelers in 2014.
During November, a Zoo Run co-presented with ZooMiami benefits both Healthy West Kendall and the Zoological Society of Florida.
Among other coming events: a “Baby Boot Camp 1.0” in March and July, preparing expectant moms and dads for newborn arrivals; “Healthy Parents, Healthy Kids” in June, offering a half-day of fitness and nutrition advice, and ”Parents’ Night Out: Date With the Docs,” a free-wheeling forum for parents to discuss family dynamics, discipline, school problems, and concerns about addictive behaviors.
Also scheduled; a “Colon Health” program in March, “Water Safety” lectures on May 14 and 28, and informative programs, “Young Athletes: Injuries and Prevention” and “Stroke Fair” on that disability, both in September.
In November, “Nutrition and Diabetes Program” will examine myths of the disease, and “Latin Done Lite” offers a healthy approach to Latin American cooking.
Hospital specialists will head to Kendall classrooms throughout 2015, beginning with an elementary school program on hand-washing tricks in January, a series on Florida’s new texting law in February, water safety in May and, as part of Baptist Health’s “Day of Caring” for its employees, planting community gardens on 10 Kendall-area school campuses.
An internal “Health Hub” provides free preventive healthcare and advice at West Kendall Baptist Hospital, including basic blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol and body mass index testing.
To inquire about class or event dates, request a presentation for a community group or recommend a topic for an upcoming program, contact Vassell at 786-467-3405.
“We continually seek new ways to share useful and timely health information and we welcome the community’s comments on our programming,” she said.
For updated program details, visit the hospital’s on-line calendar at Events.BaptistHealth.net.